Home » Simon Says » Parshah » Yitro: Baruch Hashem

Yitro: Baruch Hashem

When Yitro finally meets up with Moshe and his family, the Torah describes the joy he felt for all the goodness that Hashem had done for Am Yisrael, as a result he got up and said “ברוך ה’ אשר הציל אתכם מיד מצרים ומיד פרעה וכו” – Blessed is Hashem for saving you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh etc., Says the Mechilta: this verse hints negatively about Am Yisrael that from the moment they left Egypt until now, not a single person had said “ברוך ה’” until Yitro said it.
This needs understanding. Even if it’s true that no one used the terminology of “ברוך ה’”, however we read last week about the unbelievable song that they sang after the splitting of the Red Sea! What greater praise could be more than that?!
The truth is that there is a difference. Song is something in the “Klal” – the community, whereas “Baruch Hashem” is an individual bracha. This is what takes place when the Chazan says: “ברכו את ה’ המבורך” a call for each every individual to respond with “ברוך ה’”, and this is indeed the response:
“ברוך ה’ המבורך לעולם ועד”
However, we can still ask: why was it that not one person thought to say: “ברוך ה’”?!
The answer is: that Am Yisrael felt that each person was only part of this entity called “Klal Yisrael” and it is not possible to serve Hashem as an individual. Therefore for an individual to bless Hashem was totally inappropriate. It was only when Yitro came along and said no! Every person as an individual, has a personal responsibility to see the goodness that Hashem has done for him (even in the context of the Klal), and to get up and say: Baruch Hashem.
May we always be able to see the good things happen to us, and say with joy and feeling: Baruch Hashem.