Hacks from Yitro
Yitro saw that his son in law Moshe was judging the entire Jewish nation by himself and understands that this was not good for Moshe nor the people. He points out to him ‘The thing that you are doing is not good…..’(18:17).
It would have been easy for Yitro to stop here. To see something not going well, to criticise, and then move on. But he continues, tries to help and offers a constructive suggestion.‘…I will advise you…’(18:19)
The Sifre explains that Yitro’s advice caused an extra verse to be added to the Torah (which is why one of his names was Yeter –extra!), and explains that the added section begins with the advice on how to make things better (18:21), rather than the beginning of the conversation.
Rabbi Meir Shapiro explains the Sifre, and points out that merely criticizing someone does not merit the adding of a section in the Torah. But constructive advice – that is worthy of a section!
How often do we just find fault with the actions of others, are quick to criticize or complain, but then not actually try to help?
It can be easy to point out problems, but a giver will not just spot it and stop there.
They see someone struggling, notice something going wrong, and instead of criticising, find a solution!
Adapted from Love your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility