Yitro 2024



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha Yitro comes in close conjunction to Tu Beshvat. A common theme in both Yitro and Tu
Beshvat can be seen in the Midrash that says that Mount Sinai was filled with vegetation and flowering, a
theme of Tu Beshvat, when the Torah was given, told about in parshat Yitro. More in depth,
Kabbalistically, vegetation was created on the third day of Creation associated with the sefira of Tiferet,
the same sefira associated with Torah study.
This painting carries a strong theme pertaining to vegetation. The central verse here contains the word
“azamra” which means to sing, but also hints to the word “zemora,” a branch of a plant. Torah study as
well is likened in Tehilim (ch. 119) to singing by this same word: “zemirot hayu li hukecha.”
Indeed, we see branches ascending in the form of a Menora, and also another Menora beneath the
“vegetative Menora” with petals amidst its flames. Note that the Torah itself describes the Menora in
vegetative terms, talking about its “flowers.” The vegetation depicted here is seen budding, giving a
feeling of emerging life. This is also the power of Torah described in Mishlei as a “Tree of Life,” giving
life to all those occupied with Torah. This is also the power of Hebron, considered synonymous with
Torah according to the Zohar which say “Hebron – that is Torah, for all those that are occupied with it are
called “haber” – a Torah scholar.”

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