Jethro understood the Oneness of God

What did Jethro realize that made him throw in his lot with the Israelites in the desert?

Steven Genack

Judaism Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai

Yitro (Jejthro) is such a seminal figure in Jewish history that he has his own parsha, but more importantly is singled out by the Torah with a descriptive words that connect him to the Torah in a profound manner.

The verse says vayichad Yitro, which commentators explain to mean, he was prickly, connoting his extreme happiness in overhearing the events that the Jews experienced. But, we may suggest that within the word vayichad is chad, one. Yitro recognized the oneness of G-d, as opposed to all the other nations that stayed devoted to their own pagan religions, despite the miraculous happenings in Egypt.

Yitro’s dedication to the oneness of G-d made him the perfect adviser to Moshe, who had no finite plan on how to set up the court systems. Yitro, with the Divine spirit within advised Moshe on how to adjudicate the law with appropriate delegation and balance which would ensure the judgment can result in fairness. Din is the expression of the Torah’s truths, and Yitro was blessed with establishing it for Israel, as he recognized G-d’s omniscience and oneness.