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Parshat Yitro Warrior Word

This week’s Parsha is Parshat Yitro. Considering the entire Parsha is named after him, Yitro must have done something amazing. 

But what was it that was so outstanding about the qualities of Yitro?

Yitro heard about all the miracles that Hashem did for the Jews, like the splitting of the sea, and that caused him to convert to Judaism. 

Unlike others who were pained by the destruction of Egypt, Yitro was one of the few intrigued and saw its glory. He was able to look at the positive end of things and see how miraculous Hashem’s actions were.  

Additionally, he abandoned all of his accomplishments as an idol worshiper to join the Jews. He had a whole life built for him but he was willing to make sacrifices to be committed to something with so much more depth to it. Yitro stayed committed to his newfound belief in Hashem despite what his community had been saying about him. He did not care about what other people thought about it; he knew himself and knew what he believed in, and he stuck with it. 

It is important to look up to the qualities that Yitro had because he was someone who dove into what they believed in. Despite the stares he would get from his community, he pushed through the hardships and followed through toward the truth he found in his new belief in Hashem. 

In the Torah, Yitro is not such a main character. He is mentioned briefly in most stories, but he has a very interesting story. This week's parsha goes in-depth on Yitro and his story, and from it, there are many lessons to be learned. 

Yitro first heard of Judaism and Hashem the way most of the world did: by hearing about the miracles Hashem did for the Jews in Mitzrayim—most famously, the splitting of the sea. 

However, Yitro's reaction to these events was different from most of the world. Instead of being pained by the destruction of Egypt, he was able to see the positive side and recognize how miraculous Hashem's actions were. 

From this, we can learn to look at the bright side of any given situation and to be optimistic rather than pessimistic. 

Since he saw the positive in Hashem's actions, he saw the positive of the Jews as a whole and therefore decided to convert to Judaism. 

Converting to Judaism wasn’t so simple for him though, as he was already a devout idol worshiper with an entire life he had built for himself until that moment. But after seeing the greatness of Hashem, he left all of it behind to commit to a lifestyle with so much more depth to it. 

His challenges didn’t stop there, though. After conversion, he naturally faced criticism from his original community. Despite the criticism and questions he faced, Yitro persevered in his belief and remained Jewish with strong emunah. 

From this, we can learn the valuable lesson to stand up for what you believe in and stick with those beliefs no matter what. Even if people argue against you, think you're wrong, or give you judgmental looks, you should follow through with your beliefs, just the way Yitro did with Judaism.  

By: Lily Abrahams (11th) & Hannah Rothman (11th)

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