God Called Him Moshe

by | Mar 19, 2010 | 0 comments

God called him Moshe

The name “Moshe” is perhaps the most famous name in Jewish history. Moshe saved the Jewish people; Moshe performed miracles; Moshe told us how to act; Moshe brought us the Torah; Moshe led us through the desert.

It is significant to note that Moshe was the first person in history with the name Moshe. All through the Tanach and the Talmud there is no one called Moshe. In fact, up to the time of the Rambam in the twelfth Century, there was hardly a Moshe.

Moshe actually had ten names! He had names that described his essence and his monumental work. He was called “Yered” which described how he brought the Torah down from Heaven; he was called “Chever” because he attached us to our Father in Heaven; he was called “Avigdor” because he created a system for life that would last an eternity. But from all his holy and so appropriate names, G-d called him “Moshe”, and therefore we call him Moshe.
Why “Moshe”? Moshe was the name that Bitya the daughter of Pharaoh called him when she rescued him from what would have been a sure death in the Nile. Moshe means “pulled out” because she pulled him out of the waves and dangerous waters. (Yalkut Vayikra 1;1).

Moshe grew up to become a man of G-d and an eternal hero. Although Moshe flew with the angels and conversed with the Almighty he never forgot that all his greatness would never have been had he not been pulled to life from the raging waters of the Nile by the daughter of Pharaoh. There was not even one moment of his life that didn’t give tribute to that altruistic and seminal act. Because that moment was pivotal in his life G-d called him Moshe.

Much before him our forefather Avrohom had a similar outlook. Avrohom discovered G-d, he attracted thousands of followers, he defeated kings and their armies, he was a righteous prophet and hebecame the foundation of our people. Yet, he never forgot the time that he was thrown into a fiery furnace by an evil Nimrod and how he miraculously survived. “I am only dust and ashes” he would often say referring to what he would have been but for the miracle of him being rescued by the Almighty.

In order for us to succeed spiritually it is vital that we set our goals and that we stay on course. But what is equally important is that we remember our beginnings. When we forget where we came from – we forget who we are.

Avrohom always remembered that he was “Ofor and Aifer” and Moshe always remembered that with all of his accomplished and the wonderful names that he accumulated; he was still Moshe – rescued from the river. Hashem called him Moshe.

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has been a leading force in Jewish community and Jewish education for over forty years. He lived and taught in the United States, Australia and in Israel. He is presently the Rav of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, a vibrant community in the center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel, and serves as the Rabbinic guide to many of its wonderful organisations.


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