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Tzipporah

Tzipporah

The Wonderful Staff

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Tzipporah, Yitro’s daughter, was famous for her fine character and beauty. In Midian, where she lived with her father and six sisters, people often talked of Tzipporah’s kindness and wisdom. Many were the princes who came to Yitro seeking the hand of his daughter in marriage.

To all suitors Yitro had but one answer: “In my garden there grows a wonderful staff. If your royal highness will get it out of the ground, Tzipporah will be yours.”

Eagerly the suitor would go into the garden and up to that wonderful staff glittering in the sun with a million colors and hues. His first attempt to pull the staff out of the ground would bring no results. Again and again he would try to pull at the staff with all his might, but to no avail. The staff simply could not be dislodged from the ground. Thus the princes came hopefully, and left abashed and mystified. Tzipporah would often go into the garden, admire the wonderful staff, and wonder who her husband would be.

But how did this wonderful staff come to be there? Well, it is quite a story.

The staff was as old as the world itself. When G‑d created the world, He created that wonderful staff out of pure sapphire. On it were engraved the Hebrew letters of G‑d’s Name, and ten other mysterious letters.

G‑d gave this staff to Adam to walk with it in the Garden of Eden. Later it turned up in the hands of the pious Noah, and he passed it on to Shem.

Shem passed it on to Abraham; Isaac and Jacob treasured it greatly; and before Jacob died in Egypt, he gave it to Joseph. When Joseph died, Yitro, who was one of Pharaoh’s chief counselors, took it. Returning to Midian, Yitro planted it in his garden, and there it stuck in the ground and nobody could get it out again.

When Moses fled from Egypt and finally found refuge in Midian, in the house of Yitro, he took a walk in the garden and saw the divine staff. He barely touched it when the staff almost jumped out of the ground. There he was, holding that divine staff, and he brought it into the house.

Yitro knew then that Moses was a G‑dly man. He offered him to become his son-in-law, and Moses gladly agreed.

It was with this divine staff that Moses later performed all the miracles in Egypt at G‑d’s command. With this staff, too, Moses split the Red Sea and brought water out of the rock.

This divine staff will turn up again in the hands of Moshiach, a descendant of David, who will once again perform wonderful miracles with it at G‑d’s command, when the hour of Israel’s complete redemption will come.

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