Shabbat Yitro

Candles 4:59pm
Havdalah 5:56pm

You might say that this week we get the first example of Business Consultancy in the Torah. Yitro is Moshe’s father in law. He is priest in Midian and obviously successful in his administrative role as well as being a caring moral person as we learn from the way he took a penniless exile into his family.

Moshe worked for him for many years and proved himself trustworthy and effective as a shepherd. But now instead of sheep he has to deal with fractious human beings who argue and fight amongst themselves.

Yitro comes to visit Moshe bringing his family with and sees how Moshe is sitting from dawn to dusk dealing with the problems of the people. Yitro offers his opinion. “You will drive yourself into an early grave if you do not learn how to delegate.” Good leadership does not require dealing with every issue personally as much as seeing that there are good and effective people to delegate to and spread the load.

Yitro did not specify how many men Moshe should choose. But he did specify that they should all be men of moral strength and quality, true and honest who would not take bribes. I wonder how many politicians and leaders this could be said of nowadays, three thousand years later.

It is in the fourth book of the Torah, Bamidbar, that the number was set at 70 and this is the origin of the system that led to the establishment of the Sanhedrin (adding one to ensure there would never be stalemate).

And unlike McKinsey, Bain and other consultants nowadays Yitro charged no fee and asked for no kickbacks.