Balaam, Job and Jethro

Discerning friend from foe is as important as ever for the Jewish people, but is as old as the Bible.

February 7, 2017 15:50
3 minute read.
Pepe Fainberg

Art by Pepe Fainberg. (photo credit: PEPE FAINBERG)

WHO IS a genuine friend to Israel and to the Jewish people? Who is a closeted or an outspoken anti-Semite? These are questions we should be asking ourselves regularly, especially regarding our political leaders. These questions concern us in the current political situation, but they certainly are not a product of modernity. They are as old as the Bible.

The Book of Exodus introduces us to several strong leaders and politicians. Generally, their position on the Jewish people is easy to discern. Moses and Aaron support the Jewish people; Pharaoh plans to destroy them. Next the Torah introduces Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, but his stance is not as clear. Jethro was the High Priest of Midian. His status as a leader is apparent, but what about his attitude toward the Jewish people?


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