Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

In this week’s Parsha Yisro says baruch Hashem asher hitzil eschem miyad Mitzrayim, blessed is Hashem who saved the Jewish people from the hands of the Egyptians. The Gemara in Sanhedrin (94a) says that Yisro was the first person to ever recite these words baruch Hashem. I would like to share with you a question that I heard from my father, Rav Yitzchok Fingerer shlita: The Radomsker Rebbe asks: It is unconceivable and unfathomable to think that the Jewish people themselves never said baruch Hashem, blessed is Hashem. After all, they stood at the sea and they sang the shirah, the great song in euphoria and jubilation. They said baruch Hashem countless times! How can it be that Yisro was the first person to say it?Answers the Radomsker that Yisro was indeed the first person to say Baruch Hashem – thanking Hashem for a miracle that happened to someone else. Thanking Hashem that someone else had success. That someone else had a salvation. The lesson to us is as follows: It’s easy for us to revel and it’s easy for us to take joy when a miracle happens to us, when we’re saved G-d forbid from a tragedy or a terrible predicament. But how many of us take joy and pleasure in other people’s successes? In other people’s victories? In other people’s miracles? That is what differentiated Yisro. Yisro said baruch Hashem. He was the first person. He wasn’t there. He didn’t experience it personally. It had nothing to do with him. He had no vested interest. And yet he took joy in someone else, in another people, in a foreign people. That is why he’s credited as saying Baruch Hashem. There was a woman who decided to send her child, her little girl, to Bais Yaakov instead of sending her to public school. She was not a religious woman, and she initially wanted to send her daughter to public school. Someone asked her why did you send your daughter to a religious school instead of the public school? The lady answered that one time she was on the bus and there was a little religious girl, a six-year-old girl sitting there. Suddenly, an ambulance passed by, and she saw the little girl murmuring. She saw her whispering something. So, this lady asked the little girl’s mother what is your daughter doing? The mother answered that her daughter was taught in school that anytime she hears the sirens, she hears an ambulance, she should say Tehillim for whoever it is that needs a recovery. When this secular woman heard this, she said if that’s what they teach in religious schools, that’s where my daughter will go. Let’s start thinking about others. Let’s get beyond ourselves and start sharing in the joy and the pain of others and saying Baruch Hashem, blessed is Hashem for other people’s successes and for other people’s joy! In this zechus (merit) may we all merit to see the ultimate joy of Moshiach in our days!

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Aryeh is the publisher of Parsha Knowledge, a weekly newsletter with Torah thoughts, stories, and inspiration on the weekly Parsha. Visit