Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Moses

To write a biography of Moses in under 300 words would be impossible. From the moment he was born, his life was filled with incredible events. But today is the seventh of Adar, and the Talmud (Megilla 13b) teaches that Moses “died on the seventh of Adar and was born on the seventh of Adar.” Therefore, Jewish Treats shares with you a glimpse into the beginning of the life of the great Moses.

Birth: Moses’ parents were Amram and Yocheved, the leading family of the tribe of Levi. His siblings were Miriam and Aaron. Moses was apparently a preemie, born, according to Rashi, at six months and one day. His early birth made it possible for Yocheved to keep the baby Moses with her until he was three months old.

Moses was born after Pharaoh had already issued a decree that all Jewish male babies were to be drowned in the river. As Moses grew, it became impossible for his parents to hide him from Pharaoh’s soldiers, and thus came to be the famous story of Moses being placed in a basket in the Nile and found (and raised) by Pharaoh’s daughter, Bithia.

While many births are recorded in the Torah, Moses’ birth is unique in that the Torah notes: “and she [Moses’ mother, Yocheved] saw that he was good” (Exodus 2:2). In explanation of which the sages noted: “He was born circumcised...and at the time when Moses was born, the whole house was filled with light” (Sotah 12a).

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