Dvar Torah BeHa’alotcha 2002 – 5762 דבר תורה בהעלותך

Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, is visiting with the Bnei Yisrael in the Wilderness. He is about to leave and return home when Moshe asks him to stay with them. His argument and his point of persuasion is that Yitro is familiar with the Wilderness and he can serve as their eyes, that is, lead them along their journey to the Promised Land. (See Num. 10:31)

This is a very strange reason for wanting him to stay. After all, how were the Israelites traveling? They had a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day. The purpose of these two phenomena was to direct them and to lead the way. If they had this great direct from Hashem, why did they need Yitro?

The answer is that although Hashem miraculously led them, our Chazal tell us, LO SAMCHINAN AL NISSA, we do not rely on miracles. That means that whenever it is possible for us to do something and to figure out a way, we should not sit back and wait for miracles to happen. We should do whatever is humanly possible ourselves. We must find solutions to our problems. We must also not hesitate to ask for help when we know someone is in position to assist us.

Moshe did not want to depend on the cloud and the fire. Moshe wanted his father-in-law to direct them. He was not reluctant to ask for help, even from a non-Jew. This is a lesson for all of us. We must act for ourselves and not sit back and say let things solve themselves. We have to do as much as we can on our own.

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