Parshat Yitro

In parshat Yitro, we learn that Moshe was the only judge of all of Israel. In response, Yitro offers advice to Moshe about this impossible situation. Yitro advises Moshe that instead of having one big court he should have a bunch of smaller courts with capable judges to head those courts. Only the most difficult cases should be directed towards Moshe. Moshe asked Hashem and Hashem agreed with Yitro’s suggestion.

This whole section of the Torah is referred to by the commentaries as “תחזה ואתה” (and you shall look for/choose). Why is this topic referred to by these two words, after all Yitro had plenty to say to Moshe before he made this suggestion? Maybe the topic should be called “Yitro sees a problem” or “Yitro’s critique of Moshe”?

Perhaps we can suggest that these words offer us all an insight into proper problem solving. Yitro sees a problem and comments on it, but he does not simply leave it alone, rather he offers sound advice. Anyone can criticize, anyone can find problems but it takes a real person to help out with solutions to the problems. Yitro gives a good idea to a problem he himself detects.

His advice as to how to solve the problem starts with the words “תחזה ואתה”. That is why this topic is named that. So wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people have solutions to problems and not just point out the problems themselves? Thank you Rabbi Bramson for helping me with this Dvar Torah.

Student Studying in Tiferet