Creative Writing Assignments – Shemot 18

Yitro's Arrival

Write a page from Yitro's diary from the day before he arrives at the Israelite campsite. What is he hoping to accomplish during his visit? To what is he most looking forward? How long does he plan on staying? Base your writing on one of the three main approaches found in the Purpose of Yitro's Visit (see also Yitro's Religious Identity). Afterwards, in a separate paragraph explain why you prefer that approach over the others.

Zipporah and Moshe

Write out a conversation between Zipporah and a friend about what life is like being married to Moshe. As you write, consider: Was Zipporah with Moshe in Egypt during any of the discussions with Paroh? Who initiated the reunion in Chapter 18? Did Moshe and Zipporah ever divorce? See אחר שלוחיה – Who Sent What to Whom? and Zipporah in Midyan.

Yitro's Advice

Write a letter from Moshe to Yitro thanking him for his advice. Have him describe how his workload has changed from how it was before Yitro's advice. What were his days like beforehand? What are they like now? Base your writing on one of the exegetical approaches found in Moshe's Duties, and footnote which commentator you are following. Afterwards, in a separate paragraph explain the advantages and disadvantages of the position you adopted.

Judges and Leaders

Have your students make an advertisement for one of the positions of the "שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים שָׂרֵי מֵאוֹת שָׂרֵי חֲמִשִּׁים וְשָׂרֵי עֲשָׂרֹת". Include a job description and necessary qualifications. On the back, footnote the exegetical approaches which support your description. See Moshe's Duties and Advice and Implementation.

Making it Personal

Have students write a journal entry about a time in which they needed the advice of another and were willing to change based on the advice. Questions to think about: What prevented you from seeing on your own the "better" way of acting? What enabled you to accept the advice from the person? Was it difficult to change?

These are some samples.
Educators – please write in and share your creativity with others!