By designating Yitro to be the father-in-law of the most holy Jew of all times, God made it clear that He would not tolerate racism and that a righteous gentile could climb up to the highest ranks of saintliness.
Yitro confronts us for the first time with a new phenomenon: to be a Jew by choice. By doing so, he presents all Jews with a major challenge: how to become a Jew by choice even when one has been born into the fold; how to feel the fire needed to live the life of an authentic Jew, as Yitro did. Such an undertaking is possible only if one is able to re-enact and experience Yitro’s journey to Judaism.
After Moshe left Egypt with a multitude of people, his father-in-law, Yitro, criticized him for the way he was arbitrating disputes among the Israelites, and suggested that Moshe reform the existing legal system. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch poses a very simple question: Could Moshe not have determined this himself?
Faith is one of the most difficult attributes to acquire. To have faith in God has become a struggle for many human beings, including those who are desperately looking for it. In modern times with their tendency to secularize nearly anything, the man of faith often feels alone in a world in which religious beliefs are often looked down on.