Jews receiving advice from the other nations of the World is an age-old scenario. Nearly as soon as the Jewish people became an independent nation, able to serve HaShem freely for the very first time, an outside observer of another nation focused his attention on the business of the Jewish people and offered his strategy for the betterment of the governance of the nation of Israel.

Following the great miracles that led to the exodus of the Jewish people of Israel, Moshe Rabbeinu's father-in-law, Yitro, previously high priest of Midyan, requested the leader of the Jewish people for an audience. This is the first act of international diplomacy for the newly independent Israel.

Moshe Rabbeinu may have thought twice about engaging in a diplomatic encounter, so soon after the prolonged "negotiations" with Pharaoh eventually ended successfully with release of the Jewish people from the clutches of slavery.

Moshe submitted to the request, and departed the camp to meet with his wife's father. To afford Yitro the honor he deserved as a family member and as the first diplomat to reach out to the Jewish people, Moshe advanced with his top advisers, Aaron, Nadav and Avihu. Upon seeing the great leaders of the Jewish people on the move, Rashi notes, the entire camp of Israel followed toward the encounter - which was, with such large numbers, the first major diplomatic summit in the history of the independent Jewish people.

Our summit began the way many diplomatic encounters do, with prostrations, greetings and kisses. The two diplomats, Yitro and Moshe, caught each other up on the earth-shattering events that brought the two together for the meeting - mainly, the miracles of the exodus.

But this is where the similarities with today's politics end. Yitro blessed HaShem, G-d of the Jewish people, and offered sacrifices - not a common sight in today's diplomatic encounters. The Torah explicitly relates, "Yitro was happy about all the good that the L-rd had done for Israel, that He had rescued them from the hands of the Egyptians."

That Yitro, not himself a member of the Jewish nation, was personally pleased about the good that befell the Jewish people, is an unusual occurrence these days. Yitro proclaimed, "Blessed is the L-rd, Who has rescued you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, Who has rescued the people from beneath the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the L-rd is greater than all the deities...." The diplomats then dined together.

"It came about on the next day that Moshe sat down to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe from the morning until the evening. When Moshe's father-in-law saw what he was doing to the people, he said, 'What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening?'"

Moshe related to Yitro that the Jewish people are coming "to seek G-d." Moshe was, without a doubt, the main attraction of the Jewish people at that time. He possessed knowledge that no other man could comprehend. With not much else to do in the desert, the entire Jewish nation came to Moshe by day to learn the teachings of HaShem, direct from His emissary.

Yitro, who was witness to this otherwise awe-inspiring daily event, had a unique observation: "The thing you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people who are with you; for the matter is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone."

Here, the similarity between the diplomatic encounters of today and of our Biblical yesteryear return. The diplomats of the World offer up their suggestions on how to govern the Jewish nation.

Yitro stated, "Now listen to me. I will advise you." Yitro's advice, however, is offered with a caveat unusual to today's diplomatic meetings, "And may the L-rd be with you." Yitro again submitted his will to the will of HaShem, as the all-powerful force that guides World events and Jewish history.

Yitro then offered advice to Moshe on how to enable the Jewish people to judge themselves, and thus take a supreme burden off of Moshe. Perhaps Yitro understood that Jewish history would be long, with the help of HaShem, and the Jewish people would not always have a Moshe to stand before. Yitro then cut to the chase, and offered up practical suggestions for dividing the judicial governance of the Jewish people amongst "men of substance" of the Jewish people. Then, Yitro returned to speaking of HaShem within his advice, and concluded with a blessing for the peace of the Jewish people, "If you do this thing, and the L-rd commands you, you will be able to survive, and also all this people will come upon their place in peace."

Unlike diplomats who deal with the Jewish people today, Yitro understood the order of priorities for the Jewish people. First, he realized, and verbally acknowledged for all to hear, that HaShem is the guiding force of Israel. Then, he understood that the Jewish people must spend their time focused on Jewish law. Only then can the Jewish people achieve G-d's oftentimes elusive blessing of peace.

Diplomats of today approach Israel with countless pieces of advice, usually with the misguidedly stated intention of bringing Israel toward peace.

Yitro was a righteous man, given seven names throughout the Torah: Reuel, Yeter, Yitro, Chovav, Chever, Keini and Putiel. Having a name added is a distinct honor bestowed on some of Jewish history's most respected figures. Having seven names is an honor that is bestowed upon another man in the above narrative: Moshe Rabbeinu. The book of Chronicles notes that Moshe is called by six other names besides his most common one. Similarly, the Midrash from Numbers Rabbah states that Mount Sinai is referred to by seven separate names in the Torah.

Yitro decided following his diplomatic summit not to formally convert to Judaism. Rather, he became the first Righteous Gentile in Jewish history, accepting upon himself the seven laws that govern all nations. Gentiles all across the globe, righteous or not, are bound by the Seven Noahide Laws: prohibitions against idolatry, murder, theft, sexual promiscuity, blasphemy, and eating the flesh of a live animal, in addition to the command to set up a government.

The fact that Yitro was first and foremost righteous, made him an effective diplomat, offering up advice that was destined to become a crucial component of Jewish governance. But the responsibility for successful Jewish diplomatic encounters today, as well as in the time of Moshe, does not rest with our Gentile counterparts. It is up to the leaders of the Jewish people to determine whether to accept the advice of a non-Jewish envoy.

Moshe recognized Yitro's status as a righteous individual before marrying his daughter years prior, and before engaging with the Midyanite post-exodus. Had Yitro not been a superior Gentile of his time, Moshe certainly would not have convened him in a diplomatic summit, or considered his advice.

Jewish leaders of today have convinced themselves of the need for diplomacy for the sake of diplomacy alone - or worse. Many are willing to part with Israel's holiest cities, and sacrifice Israel's most loyal citizens to achieve goals that directly counter Torah principles.

Moshe never considered, let alone initiated, the need for foreign diplomacy. In fact, he shunned the idea of diplomatic encounters altogether. Moshe reasoned with HaShem from several angles to avoid speaking to Pharaoh - and this was when the eventual freedom of the Jewish people was at stake. Moshe only advanced to meet the Egyptian ruler because HaShem demanded it.

Moshe was only comfortable speaking with One foreign entity, the One greater than all humans combined, with the Holy One, Blessed be He. And it is with G-d alone that Moshe was willing to petition advice, while representing the Jewish people.

Jewish leaders of today must look up to Moshe as one of the greatest examples of Jewish leadership, and hold themselves up to the lofty standards set by the greatest prophet who ever lived.

Only when consumed with Torah and G-dliness will a Jewish leader understand the place of diplomacy in modern political dialogue. And only then can we expect to hold those foreigners requesting audience with today's Jewish leadership to the standards of the Biblical model of righteous diplomacy, Yitro.