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Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg zt”l: Notes on Devarim VI: Yitro’s Plan

We have in pasuk 12 the masseh of getting the court system in place. Rashi brings the Chazal that states that really Klal Yisrael should have rejected Yisro’s idea of not having all cases brought to Moshe since Moshe was ‘mitztaer’ in receiving the Torah. [The fact that this sin was not mentioned by the Chumash directly but by Chazal means that it did not have the eternal impact that the Chet HaEgel or Meraglim did.]


We would have thought that it is because Moshe was the one who learned directly from Kavaychol. But no, it’s not the greatness of Moshe and his Nevuuah, but the sacrifice that Moshe gave. This is what we must look for in a Rebbe.

And then you’ll find that the one who worked the hardest and gave up the most will turn out to be the one who knows the most. But even if not, the focus of our search for a rebbe must be how hard the rebbe worked.

We don’t acquire Torah through brilliance but rather through work and suffering-through lacking comfort and ease.

The Rosh Yeshiva ZTL explained why no one thought of Yisro’s idea until Yisro came. It’s not that they couldn’t think of it, Yisro’s plan wasn’t so brilliant that someone should not have thought of it, but they couldn’t consider it.

They learned from Moshe Rabbeinu, the one who spoke to Kavayachol Himself.

Once they learned Torah from Moshe, they couldn’t ponder another rebbe. The Navol Tibol withering away  that Yisro described was worth it. Yisro had not experienced learning from Moshe yet so he can think of it.

Once Yisro brought it up, so it’s on the table, and the people accept it. Once you bring up why Moshe needs to be the teacher then this is the beginning of the end.

It’s the same with everything in life. If you don’t bring up the topic of abortions, gay rights, or giving Jerusalem to the Arabs,(yes, the Rosh Yeshiva ZTL said already under Rabin, when it was still unfathomable, that he knew for a fact that Jerusalem wilt be divided, because although it was rejected back in 1993-94, it was being talked about-ed.) then nobody thinks of bringing it up. Once you broach the topic, it becomes acceptable. The decision isn’t really made when you bring up a topic.

Once you bring up the question or issue itself, there is a weakness. The issue had to be defended. There are certain issues which can’t be brought up as a question with an  answer. These issues must be dealt with in showing that the question is not a question- that the question is based on a foolish assumption. And then there are no real discussions of the issue.

The same concept

works for good things that we want to see changed as

well. Through talking about them, the changes can and

will eventually occur,


The judges who would be appointed had to be known and accepted by the people. Authority can only exist if the people respect and accept the authority.

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