Posted by: mosesfromsinai | January 4, 2015

Shemos – Names

This week’s Torah Reading begins the 2nd  book called Shemos – Names or Exodus as it is commonly referred to.

We have a strange event take place.  The Torah records an entire section without mentioning names.  A man from the house of Levi (no name of the man) went and took a daughter of Levi (no name of the woman).  She gives birth to a baby boy (no name of the baby boy at this point).  The house is filled with light from this special baby boy.   He is placed in a special basket and put into the Nile River after he is 3 months old.  He is discovered by  the daughter of Paroh (no name given to the princess) and is taken from the water. The sister (no name given) of the baby approaches the princess and asks if she should find a woman who could nurse and look after the baby.  The princess says yes and the sister takes the baby to the baby’s mother (again no name given).  Finally when the baby boy is returned to the Princess we have a name.  The daughter of Paroh names the boy Moshe,  because the name Moshe implies that she drew him from the water.

Why all the secrecy in the written Torah?  We have to come on to the oral tradition to tell us the woman, mother, was Yocheved, who was born entering Egypt and is 130 years old when she gave birth.  The man, her husband is Amram, the leader of the tribe of Levi.  He had divorced his wife so as not to have kids that Paroh would then kill the boys born.  His daughter, the sister in our story, Miriam, is the one that tells her father to take back his wife so as to at least have girls, (and prophetically) give birth to the redeemer of the Jewish Nation.  The Princess is Basya, who is indeed special and her arm stretches a great deal to reach the basket to rescue the baby boy. All this we learn from oral tradition.

Perhaps one reason may be that in studying the Written Torah, it is important to come on to the Oral Tradition.  It is very evident that there must be a second part to the Written Torah, known to us as the Oral Torah, made up in part by The Talmud, Midrash and Zohar.

Thus indeed we find that at the Passover Seder, which deals with the events in the book of Shemos, the Exodus from Egypt, the child is asking questions and the father is giving answers.  Our survival is based on this oral communication, from father to son (mother to daughter) and teacher to student.  This then is a strong indication of how we are to survive our exile and then eventually be redeemed.  By fulfilling the Oral Torah and communicating with our children and students our redemption is clearly near.


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