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“And Yisro heard… of all that Hashem had done for Moshe and for Yisrael His people.” (18:1) – “And Moshe told his father-in-law all that Hashem had done.” (18:8) – “And Yisro said blessed be Hashem for saving you.” (18:10)

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We may note that Yisro did not bless Hashem until after he had heard the various miracles which had transpired directly from Moshe. What was unique about Moshe’s description of the details of the Exodus and its miracles as differentiated from the information Yisro had heard while in Midyan? Indeed, the first reports of these occurrences provided incentive enough for him to leave his home to come join Bnei Yisrael in the desert. The Darchei Mussar explains that from this pasuk we may derive the importance of studying with a teacher who is replete with yiras shomayim (fear of Heaven). Undoubtedly, Yisro heard the same stories of Hashem’s awesome miracles from many others. When he heard of Hashem’s glory from an individual who personified yiras shomayim, however, the impression was obviously much more profound.


In choosing teachers to transmit our noble heritage to our children, we are enjoined to select those G-d fearing individuals whose very essence reflects faith in Hashem and the performance of mitzvos. When a student hears about the glory of Hashem and His Torah from such an individual, the lesson becomes ingrained in the student’s character and personality. Unquestionably, teaching skills and methodology are necessary prerequisites for a successful teacher. When the lesson plan, however, is of a sublime spiritual nature, whose purpose is to mold Jewish souls, the emphasis must be on procuring a teacher whose entire demeanor personifies these ideals.

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