Yitro (Exodus 18:1 – 20:23)

This week: Revelation!  Theophany!  And not just in the Torah reading.  There’s another theophany in the Haftarah, Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 (minus the last 8 verses for Sephardim).  BTW, as used herein, the term “Revelation” refers to the revelation of the Law (at least the Ten Commandments) to Moses and Israel at Mt. Sinai and the term “theophany” refers to a manifestation or appearance of God to at least one person. (I have to write like that all the time at work.)

But first, Moses gets a very useful lesson in management from his father-is-law, Jethro (Yitro), who, appreciative of the implications of the splitting of the sea everyone’s talking about, has come to the camp in the wilderness, bringing in tow the wife (Zipporah) and two sons of Moses, whom we (as well as Moses?) never hear from again.  Jethro observes Moses trying to be a one-man judicial system and not only tells him he must delegate or collapse, but practically hands him an organization chart (names to be filled in), so that only the most difficult cases will go all the way up to Moses.  We probably all know people who micromanage and refuse to delegate because they desire control and/or they think only they can get it right.  In the case of Moses, a truly humble man, it is likely that he simply wanted to help the people who came to him, not turn them away.

I have written elsewhere in these missives that I think the Children and Israel are inadequately prepared for the wonders at Sinai, subjected to thunder, lightning, earth tremors, and of course a very loud voice of God, and that, because their fear prevented them from fully hearing and appreciating it, this helps plant the seeds of doubt that lead to disaster later.  This year, I appreciate that many pains are taken beforehand.  They have several weeks to recover and decompress after escaping from Egypt.  They are exposed to only a few laws to deal with at a time.  They are given manna as sustenance and a means of developing faith in God.   And they are told that God wants to have a special relationship with them, that Gpd bore them on eagles’ wings out of Egypt.  They are to be a treasured possession and a kingdom of priests and a holy people.  (All they have to do is obey.)  They are told how to prepare physically three days ahead of time.  But the Revelation at Sinai still overwhelms them.

About the eagles’ wings: Nechama Leibowitz reviews several commentators’ takes on this in her book, New Studies in Shemot, vol. 1, pp. 290-302 (some of the text is at http://www.ramahwisconsin.com/site/epage/56422_697.htm , the top half, and it may be available elsewhere online).  “…I bore you aloft on eagles’ wings” (19:4) is an image of love and compassion, of eagles carrying their fledglings on top of their wings, soaring beyond the earth.  But the words that follow are at least as important:  “and brought you unto Myself.”  The Exodus was not so much from as to, i.e., from slavery in Egypt but, more importantly, to the service of God.

Shabbat shalom,

Irene
——————-

http://origamiaday.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/if-god-text-messages-the-ten-commandments/

If God Text Messaged the Ten Commandments (By Jamie Quatro)

1.        no1 b4 me. srsly.
2.        dnt wrshp pix/idols
3.        no omg’s
4.        no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5.        pos ok – ur m&d r cool
6.        dnt kill ppl
7.        :-X only w/ m8
8.        dnt steal
9.        dnt lie
10.        dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
ttyl, JHWH.


[ These two I had to look up:  ttyl = talk to you later and pos = parent(s) over shoulder.  By the way, I do not text.]
——————-

http://www.jaredstory.com/church_children.htm

The Tenth Commandment

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,
“Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor’s wife.”
——————-

http://www.bangitout.com/articles/viewarticle.php?a=2537

Ten Commandments of Dating  by bangitout Posted: 05-13-2009(Viewed 2690 times)
1. I am the Lord, your date, who brought you out of your house on a weeknight 2. Thou shalt not have any other plans or answer any texts/emails on your blackberry during our 1.5 hour minimum time together (except when I go to the bathroom)  

3. Do not forget my name during the date.   

4. Remember our 1st date anniversary and keep it holy by sending expensive flowers to my office 

5. Honor my mother and father as they could be your potential in-laws/employers/sugar daddies

6. Thou shalt not kill my double-dating idea    

7. Do not commit adultery. But while we are on the topic of commitment…

8. Thou shall not steal my spotlight during the date. Enough about your past relationships, shut up and listen. 

9. Do not bear false witness to your friends, downplaying the date. You are smitten, Best Date Ever

10. Do not covet my friends on Facebook. They are dumb.  

 ——————-

http://www.lotsofjokes.com/management_styles.asp

Management Styles  [selected]

1. MANAGING BY WALKING FASTER THAN THE EMPLOYEES These managers you will always see in the corridor, ten steps away. “We’ll have to talk” you can hear them say, just as they have disappeared around the corner.

3. MANAGING BY POST-ITS Some managers forget everything. They want to impress you with their ‘busy’ness by continuously writing on Post-Its while you are talking.

4. MANAGING BY DELEGATION TO THE SECRETARY These managers just delegate everything to the secretary.

5. MANAGING BY KNOWING NOTHING These managers don’t really know anything at all. They let YOU give answers. Meanwhile they fill the time with irrelevant anecdotes.

7. MANAGING BY HIDING INFORMATION Information hiders are aware of the market value of strictly secret kept information. You must be very thankful to get any information at all.

8. MANAGING BY DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE BOSS SAYS These managers prevent their bosses from creative thinking. Else they have more work to do.

9. MANAGING BY WALKING ONE FOOT BEHIND THE BOSS In hierarchical organizations you can watch those groups walking in the corridor. The more equal managers are directly followed by the lesser equal managers, and so on. [Similarly, see Organizational Chart cartoon below. IGP]

10. MANAGING BY SMILING AND WEARING NICE SUITS If you drink beer with them, lunch with them, smile to them and also wear nice suits, nothing can stop your career anymore.

11. MANAGING BY STUDYING Despite their continual attendances of all kind of studies and congresses, they still belong to category 5. The longer they learn, the further they get from the practice.

13. MANAGING BY OPEN DOOR AND EMPTY ROOM This is a major improvement of the older ‘OPEN DOOR’ management style. Now you can really walk in and out anytime you want. Nobody ever knows where these managers are.

14. MANAGING BY SPEAKING WITH OTHER MANAGERS This kind of managing is very popular. It will give them within a few hours the same information as an employee can tell them in 15 minutes.

16. BUA MANAGEMENT ( BY USING ABBREVIATIONS ) This management style is ATRASACWOC ( Adopted To Reach A Shorter And Clearer Way Of Communication ).

17. MANAGING BY USING BUZZ WORDS These managers like to bluff your head off with hip, nearly undefined, terms.

18. MANAGING BY REORGANIZATION If they think there is nothing more to organize, they reorganize.

20. MANAGING BY FORGETTING PROMISES If you remind them to one of their promises, the priority of that promise is too low to remember.

 ——————-
http://www.brunningonline.com/workjokes/organizationchart.htm

Organizational Chart


Another organization chart model, available at many sites, is a parrots’ perch with many rungs, having one bird on the topmost rung, 2 or so a rung down, more on the next lower rung, etc.  Only the topmost bird is clean – you can imagine what the other birds look like, farther and farther down.

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