Sure he was Moses’ Father-In-Law, but many great men have fathers-in-law who are not necessarily worthy of such recognition. Rather, it wasn’t merely who he was in relation to others, it was what he achieved in his own life. The Torah records many names that Yitro was known by, showing different traits he possessed. The most unusual of these names was “Putiel”. This name in Hebrew implies that he fattened calves for use in idolatrous sacrifices! Yitro was a “spiritual seeker”. Our sages tell us that there was no god or religion in the world that he did not serve in his quest for enlightenment. But when he heard about the miracles G-d did for the Jewish people by taking them out of Egypt and splitting the sea for them, Yitro came to Moshe in the desert and joined the Jewish people for good.
Kabbalah explains that Yitros “conversion” from idolatry to Judaism was a necessary preparation for the giving of the Torah. All of the forces of impurity and un-holiness which he had been involved in over his life time, would now became elevated and utilized in the service of G-d and Torah. Yitro completely turned is life around, and it had cosmic ramifications.
We are preparing for Purim, and as we all know, one of the central Mitzvot of Purim is the reading of the Megillah (the Book of Esther) from a special scroll. We are planning on having at least two public readings of the Megillah, (and possibly a few private readings), but as of now, Chabad of Southern Mississippi does not yet have a Kosher Megillah Scroll. The price is about $600. Anyone who would be willing to help us co-sponsor this necessity, would be very appreciated, and this would be a great merit for you and your family as it would help many Jews observe this Mitzvah properly.
Wishing you and you family a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Akiva Hall