We read of the greatest event in the entire history of the people of Israel- the revelation at Mt. Sinai in this portion. The portion opens with an account of the visit of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, to the Israelite camp just after they have crossed the Sea. Jethro suggests an administrative arrangement to Moses which significantly enhances Moses’ effectiveness as a judge. The people then proceed to the foot of Mt. Sinai where they engage in three days of purification in preparation for God’s appearance. The proclamation of the Ten Commandments itself is accompanied by smoke and fire and the sound of the shofar. The effect on the people is overwhelming, so much so that they cannot bear to hear God’s voice directly and Moses serves as an intermediary. The experience of Sinai establishes a covenantal relationship between God and Israel which is to last to eternity and put its distinctive stamp on the entire future development of the people.