Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Divided We Stand - Parshat Yitro

Raise your hand if you have too much to do but don't know how to ask for help doing it.

Raise your hand if you get annoyed at waiting in line for people who have too much to do and don't ask people for help doing it.

If you raised your hand for the first thing, you're in the same boat as Moses. If you raised your hand for the second, you're in a boat with the nation of Israel. If you raised your hand for both you may want to look into getting a new boat.

In this week's portion, Parshat Yitro, Moses is trying to handle the task of judging every case that arises amongst the nation by himself. His wise father-in-law Yitro, points out that he should restructure and share the work with others.

"But they all come to me seeking God, they bring me a dispute or they ask me a question and I judge between them or I tell them the applicable rules."

"This system is no good." Says Yitro, "You're wearing yourself out, as well as the nation - you're making them wait around all day to get to you. The task is too much for you - you can't do it alone." Here's his advice: find men among the nation who are trustworthy that you can appoint as chiefs over smaller numbers of the nation. They'll judge most of the cases and bring any big ones that are out of their purview to you. Let them share the burden with you and make your job a little easier.

So Moses takes this good advice and things seriously improve for him and the nation when he implements the divide and conquer strategy.

I've been racking my brain for dishes that have this divide and conquer theme. I once had gazpacho divorciados (two flavors of gazpacho served in one bowl, divided).

But I'm not sure that's what I'm in the mood for this week so I thought I'd turn to you my readers. What could we make that's related to this theme this week?

And should it be served on this kind of plate?


  1. I loved the double portion of gazpacho! It's beautiful and connects beautifully to the theme!!! Although I have to admit not quite belonging to the COLD COLD COLD weather we're having, still, inspiring to remember that summer will return someday. but maybe you could give us two hot soups that would go together just as well? Or just tomato soup with pesto swirling inside?

  2. This is a great idea Moriyah! Try the roasted squash soup from a few months ago with a parsnip or broccoli puree soup. Perfect for the winter.