Beha’alotecha – Chamishi

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

On the 20th day of Iyar (still in the second year of the Exodus), the cloud arose and the people moved from Sinai to Paran. The divisions traveled in their proper order and the Leviim disassembled the Mishkan for transport.

Moshe spoke to his father-in-law Yisro, here called Chovav, about traveling on with them. Yisro declined, opting to return to his homeland and spread the word. Moshe begged him to reconsider and stay. (It is unclear whether or not this is the same visit by Yisro recorded in the parsha that bears his name. If so, his departure is recorded in Exodus chapter 18. If this is a second visit, we are not told whether or not he was persuaded to stay. One way or the other, we see that his descendants did reside in Israel – see Judges chapter 4, Jeremiah chapter 35, et al.)

Download Audio File