Parshat Yitro Schedule

Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat/Oneg Shabbat

Friday, January 21

  • 06:50 am – Shacharit
  • 04:25 pm – Mincha/Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat Service
  • 04:25 pm – Candle Lighting
  • 08:00 pm – Oneg Shabbat at the home of Rabbi & Rebbetzin Rabinowitz, 265 Fellsway East in Malden

Saturday, January 22

  • 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
  • 08:45 am – Shacharit
  • 09:31 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
  • 11:30 am – Kiddush
  • 04:00 pm – Mincha
  • 04:30 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
  • 05:20 pm – Ma’ariv
  • 05:35 pm – Shabbat Ends

Week of January 23 – 28


  • 08:00 am – Sunday
  • 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
  • 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday


  • 04:30 pm – Sunday – Thursday
  • 04:30 pm – Friday


  • 05:00 pm – Sunday – Thursday

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Weekly Words of Torah

Positive Chutzpah

Insights into Parshat Yitro by Mr. Jacob Rosenfeld of Yeshiva Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.

In this weeks parsha, the first pasuk says “Vayishma Yitro cohen Midyan choten Moshe et kol asher asa Elokim l’Moshe ul’Yisrael amo ki hotzi Hashem et Yisrael mimitzrayim”. “Yitro, the cohen of Midyan, the father in law of Moshe, heard everything that G-d did to Moshe and Israel, His people- that Hashem had taken Israel out of Egypt”. Rashi on the pasuk asks, what did Yitro actually hear that made him “come” to the Jews in the desert?  Rashi explains that it was the news of the kriyat yam suf, the splitting of the sea, and the milchemet Amalek, the battle with Amalek. Many of the meforshim (commentators) comment that Rashi intends to explain why Yitro came to join the Jewish people in the midbar (desert). This is specifically due to hearing about the splitting of the Sea, because that is what is mentioned explicitly in the pasuk later on in the parsha. However, there seems to be a kesher (connection) between the two reasons that Rashi mentions.

In the sefer “Halekach v’Halibuv” Rav Avraham Schorr explains that just because Yitro heard the news about kriyat yam suf, there was not sufficient reason for him to join Bnei Yisrael or to have any connection with them. This was obviously an outright miracle performed only for the zerah shel ha’avot (descendants of the Forefathers), Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. The Jewish people, he realized, have a special level of kedusha from birth and were therefore privileged to merit such a miracle. In addition, he reasoned that the Jewish People deserved such miracles due to their servitude in Egypt- which he had no part in.

If so, what did Yitro hear that led him to “come” to the Jewish People? What gave Yitro the courage and boldness to come and join the Jews?

The news concerning the battle with Amalek. The nations of the world were in awe and trepidation of the Jews after Hashem split the sea for them. No nation was brazen enough to start up with the Jews at the peak of our fame. Only Amalek possessed the audacity to attempt to “cool down” the nation that was on spiritual fire, even though they knew that they would be unsuccessful. This midah (attribute) of “chutzpah'” and courage (in a negative way) was assessed to Amalek. When Yitro thought about this midah after hearing the news, he realized that for every evil force, there is always a corresponding positive force that is even more powerful. If Hashem let Amalek reach Bnei Yisrael in the desert with this midah, then certainly he would let Yitro meet them with the same midah- b’kedusha.

Sadly, in our generation, Hashem has given the yetzer hara so much strength and brazenness in order to bring the Jewish People to their demise. This koach (strength) of chutzpah represents Amalek in our own times. However, this gives us the kal v’chomer, or certainty, that the opposite can be achieved as well on an even higher level. Hashem gives each and every one of us the power to be brazen and “chutzpadik” in the face of the yetzer hara at the time when it endeavors for us to fall. When a person is stuck in evil ways- G-d forbid, it takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage to overcome and to start fresh. It takes a determined individual to go against what the world is telling him to do, even when he knows that it is wrong. The Kotzker Rebbe explains that for this reason the parsha is called “Yitro”, because a convert has the power to start completely new- as a newborn- clean of all iniquity. We should all try to adopt the message of Yitro that in any situation that the yetzer hara is being chutzpadik and trying to overpower us, we have the power tenfold to overcome him with our own type of chutzpah.