Drash Cards for Shemot (5761)
by Marc Mangel
• Theme for today: NAMES
• Back to the beginning: Adam in Bereishit 2:20; Abram in Bereishit 17:3-5; Sarai in Bereishit 17:15; Jacob in Bereishit 32:28; Joseph in Bereishit 41:44. Moses meets God in Exodus 3:13
• Moses himself: when he is 3 months old he is discovered and the only name we have is Egyptian
• The Madras says that one of the four reasons the Israelites were saved was due to NOT changing their names.
• So what was Moses’s name?
• One idea, due to Chizkume: Pharaoh’s daughter converted and knew Hebrew. Yocheved, Moses’s mother, named him and Pharaoh’s daughter approved.
• Malbim says: “Mo =Egyptian for water; she = for exit” so Moshe is the same in Hebrew or Egyptian
• The altnerative is that we really don’t know who Moses was! But the message is that it doesn’t matter who you are. What matters is what you do.
• My collaborator Jonnie Gressel from Machon Weizmann said one time that in Europe they ask about your genotype (do you come from a good family) but in America about your phenotype (what are your accomplishments).
• More generally: Torah cannot be acquired through inheritance but from one’s own hard work and spiritual elevations.