Inspiration Through Torah in 5776: Yitro

The_Ten_Commandments_(Bible_Card)In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the matan Torah, the giving of the Torah, on Mount Sinai. You can read about it here: Yitro – Exodus 18:1 – 20:23

You may decide to read the whole portion in one sitting or you might decide to do the FULL KRIYAH which breaks up the parsha so that you can pace yourself and concentrate on a smaller section each day.

This week, the readings for the Torah portion for each day of the week will be as follows:

1: 18:1-12 (12 p’sukim)

2: 18:13-23 (11 p’sukim)

3: 18:24-27 (4 p’sukim)

4: 19:1-6 (6 p’sukim)

5: 19:7-19 (13 p’sukim)

6: 19:20-20:14 (20 p’sukim)

7: 20:15-23 (9 p’sukim)

The reading for the haftarah, if you decide to read it in addition to the Torah portion, is Isaiah 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5 – 9:6.

Continue to journal this week, writing down your thoughts, themes, and Bible verses that come to mind for the individual days, and/or week. If you’d like to focus on personal character development with a larger community, see “Mussar” below the Torah study materials.

Torah Study Materials

Reading materials

Torah Portion Study Guides from Tony Robinson

The Creation Gospel Torah Portions: Shemot by Dr. Hollisa Alewine


The Parsha Experiment from the AlephBeta team on this week’s parsha.

Torah teachings (from the Torah cycle 5772) by L. Grant Luton

Mussar (Personal Character Development)

This week, we will be focusing on the middah (virtue) of zrizut, which can be translated as alacrity, enthusiasm, or diligence. Time is a precious commodity and each moment holds an opportunity for us to accomplish something of real value, not just for this world, but for the world to come. In our diligence to accomplish our daily tasks and goals, our attitude should be one of cheerfulness and enthusiasm.

At the top of a 4×6 card write, Zrizut (Diligence/Alacrity). Underneath write out the following practice suggestions:

  • “Always find something to do – for yourself or for a friend, and don’t allow a moment of your life to be wasted.” ~Rabbi M. M. Lefin of Satanov, Cheshbon HaNefesh
  • Make a list of goals you would like to accomplish for the week, and then select the ones you think you will actually be able to get done. Be practical.
  • Ask yourself before you do anything, “Would my time be better served in doing something else right now?”
  • Do not rush, but rather seek to do thoroughly and cheerfully.

Put the card in a prominent place, so you might be able to refer to it often throughout the day.

You might enjoy these articles for this week:
Mussar: Alacrity
Quotes on Diligence and Enthusiasm

Rabbi Eliyahu Kin’s lecture on this week’s middah:

Blessings and Shalom for a good week,