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And Jethro Heard

“And Jethro heard.” The Zohar asks, Did Jethro hear and all the nations did not hear? After all, it is written, “The nations will hear, be angry.” However, Jethro heard and was broken, and all the nations heard and were not broken. Therefore, their hearing is not hearing.

We should ask why Jethro broke when he heard the tearing of the Red Sea and the war against Amalek. He saw two things here: 1) On the part of the Creator, the Creator said to Moses, “The Lord will fight for you and you will be silent.” Concerning the war against Amalek, it is written, “And Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose us people and go fight against Amalek.’” Concerning Moses, it is written, “His hands were hands of faith until the sun set.”

We should say that when he went out from Egypt, they believed in the Creator. At that time, because of the faith, they did not need an awakening from below. Rather, the Creator told them that they must only continue to have faith, and the Creator will fight for you. The power of faith is to deliver him from all the troubles.

This is so because faith is actually an awakening from below, as our sages said, “Everything is in the hands of heaven but the fear of heaven.” Conversely, the war against Amalek, which is “how he met you along the way,” bringing heresy to the people of Israel, as they interpreted, “And attacked the stragglers at your rear,” cutting the words and throwing them upward, casting words upward and saying, “The commandments You commanded Your people Israel, how has this helped them?” This is how the [book] Siftey Hachamim interprets it. For this reason, the matter depends on faith, which is the meaning of fear of heaven, and this is in the hands of man. This is why they had to fight.

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