Sometimes, the most personal things – the baggage we carry – are the most difficult for us to see. We cannot see the weaknesses in ourselves or in our loved ones, though, of course, we can see with 20/20 vision the weaknesses in others.
So, sometimes we may learn the deepest and truest lessons about ourselves from outsiders. Especially when traveling, literally or figuratively.
On the journey of life, the baggage we carry is not all bad. It contains our heritage, our sense of purpose, our soul. In fact, our baggage is packed with knowledge, but sometimes it takes an outsider to open it up for us to see. And that is when we learn the deepest secrets about our selves.
As we discover in this week’s Torah reading, it took an outsider, Jethro – a non-Jew, a sheikh, a chieftain, a high priest, a medicine man, a minister and leader of another nation – to capture the depth of the Nation of Israel.
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, plays a major role in the Hebrew Bible and he is also revered by other religions – by Christianity and Islam – and especially by the Druze, whose esoteric monotheistic faith considers Jethro its founder.
Jethro has seven names. In their meaning lies an important message for us today.
This is how we receive the Ten Commandments anew.