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Character Analysis: Moshe

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by

Zahava Gersten

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of Character Analysis: Moshe

An In depth analysis on Moshe Roots: What was his family like? What were the conditions like when he was born? Everyone knows about the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt. What you "may not know is that when Pharoah decreed that all male sons be killed, many of the Jews divorced. Their line of reasoning was: by having children, we are only ensuring their deaths." And so, they did not have any more children. Now, at that time there was a young girl who told her parents that what they were doing was wrong. Her name was Miriam.She convinced her parents that they were killing the girls as well, and that would be worse than just killing the boys. And so, her parents remarried. "And a man from the house of Levi went out." Who is this man? Amram, the grandchild of Levi, was marrying Yoocheved, the daughter of Levi. In fact, this was not their first marriage. These are the parents of Miriam, and they are remarrying one another. The wedding was festive- Miriam and her oorther Aharon, fuutre leader of the Jews in Egypt, danced in front of their mother during the wedding. Already we can see what type of family Moshe is coming from. Why were his parents not named? There are two opinions:
The first opinion is that of Rav Hirsch, who says that we do not want people to say Moshe became a leader simply because his parents were leaders as well.
The second opinion is that we do not want to associate him with normal people- maharal. In both cases, he is exceptional. Moshe's roots lie with his family and the Jewish people. Moshe's Birth: How did Moshe escape the decree of being killed in the Nile? He was born 3 months premature! We know this because his mother was able to hide him for 3 months. Thus, we can deduce that he was born 3 months early. "She saw that he was good." What does it mean, she saw he was good? There are several opinions:
1. He was born circumcised.
2. The creation of light was seen at birth
3. She saw that he was healthy, even though he was premature. How did his mother know he would survive?
Miriam prophecised about it, and how he would
save the Jews. But after 3 months, the Egpytians would expect him-
and so they sent Moshe out on a basket in hopes of saving his life. He was on his way The Basket (vs. The Ark) Moshe's basket symbolized the hope/saving of the Jews Noach's boat symbolized the destruction of all people The basket was made out of waterproof material Moshe is saved Bat Pharaoh saw Moshe's basket and she: Scenario one She sent her maidservant to retrieve him Made (in) Servant Scenario Two She sent her maidservant away and retrieved him herself. Moshe would not nurse with an Egyptian woman
His mother was able to nurse him for at least 4 years,
and that is how he learned about his identity. Moshe Grew Up When Moshe was older and grown up, he ventured out of the palace.
He saw his bretheren (The Jews) working as slaves. backbreaking labor When he sees the Jews, his people suffering, he cannot stand it. And then he he sees an Egyptian man beating a Jew. And so Moshe looked to and fro......Moshe looked to and fro...... to and fro #1 Turns to see if anyone is watching to and fro #2 He is looking for an authority
figure who will help to and fro #3 He is looking to see if any Jew will help out this other afflicted Jew to and fro #4 He was looking to see
If the Egyptian man would have any
good descendants. to and fro #5 looking inside himself.
is he an Egpytian, or a Jew? Whichever scenario it was, Moshe
did kill the Egyptian taskmaster.
Moshe chose to sacrafice his life of
ease as an Egyptian prince in order
to protect the Jews. He chose them.
This is an incredible decision, and
shows what a thoughtful and
caring person he was. Not everyone
would side with the slaves and forfeit
their identity as an Egpytian prince. After that incident Moshe was afraid? One might ask why, and if he was, why did not he not run away?
We cannot know, but he did not run away just yet. The very next day, Moshe was out and saw two
Jewish men fighting. In fact, some say these men were Datan and Aviram, and that Datan was the very
Jew whom Moshe had saved the previous day. Moshe was appalled that two Jews would actually hit one
another, and he asked them why they were fighting. Datan turned to him and said, "Who are you to
tell me what to do? Are you going to kill me, just as you did with the Egyptian man?" After that, Moshe
was afraid because he said that indeed the matter was known. Pharaoh found out that Moshe killed the
Egyptian and he ordered Moshe's death; upon hearing this Moshe fled to save his life. When Datan turned to Moshe and asked if he would kill him as he killed the Egyptian, Moshe was scared. Of what? Either 1) People knew he had killed the Egyptian, which meant he was in danger or 2) He was scared of the state of the Jews and felt that maybe they did not deserve to be freed. They were treating each other horribly. Moshe fled to Midian, where he was involved in yet another fight. In Midian, Yitro, who used to be the priest of the area, had many daughters. These daughters were shephardesses, and they went to get water from the well everyday. They would arrive early and give water to the camels, but by the time they were done, the other shephards would come and bully them, and they took water before the girls could. When Moshe arrived at the scene, the shephards were bullying Yitro's daughters and he chased them away and gave water to the daughters. After Moshe helped the girls, he went home with them and married Yitro's daughter Tzipporah. What have we learned about Moshe so far? We know that he was destined for greatness. His sister saw it, he was born a healthy, premature baby to an old woman. We know that Moshe grew up with a Jewish education and that the values he learned stuck with him. We know that he could have easily turned his back on his birth family, but he did not and he used to go out and suffer with them. We know that he cannot stand to watch people being abused because he is kind-hearted. He has a good soul and a good moral compass. He is compassionate. He was involved in three different fights in a small amount of time because he likes to help people and cannot stand back. So far he has the characteristics of a good leader- caring and compassionation, willing to do what is needed and not stand aside. Years Passed and Moshe was a shephard for Yitro Moshe was a Shepherd for Yitro Being a shephard is something special Other famous figures in TANACH were shephards Let's see what it means to be a shephard Other shepherds were Yosef, Yaakov, Rochel, and Dovid Shephards spend much of the day sitting in one place, which allows them to ponder G-d and become spiritually great. shephards must look after each and every sheep, and take care of them. Only someone with compassion could do this Moshe Yaakov Dovid Moshe and the Other Shephards He is one of the greatest forefathers
He is the father of the 12 tribes
Very involved in Torah
Great respect for his parents He was compassionate
He was honest
He was chosen by G-d to become king
Greatest King Compassionate
Saved the Jews
Willing to step in
Close to G-d
Greatest Prophet Leaders and for many years, about 80, Moshe was a shepherd THE EVENT One day, while Moshe is out shepherding, one of the little lambs ran away... he followed. This shows that Moshe cared about each and every one of the flock. A good trait to have when one is destined to lead a nation. When Moshe finds the sheep He sees... A burning bush that is not consumed Moshe is in a dry, hot desert. It is not unusual to see something on fire But the nature of Moshe is to investigate And he noticed the bush that wasn't consumed He is perceptive and inquisitive the location of this bush was har sinai There G-d appeared before Moshe told him to go out to Egypt to save the Jews The Conversation Between Moshe and G-d Moshe Moshe!"It is time for the Jews to be redeemed." "who am I to redeem them?" Do not be afraid, I will be with you. What if the people don't believe me? Tell them My name is I Will Be What I Will Be I cannot speak in front of them Aharon will speak for you. What if they don't believe me? (Gives 3 signs) Delving into the conversation Moshe and His Concerns The people won't listen Worried that they won't trust him because he was gone for so long They won't listen to him because he was never a slave His brother has been the leader,
they will want to trust him not Moshe. Who am I to free them/ I cant He is being modest He has a stutter hasn't spoken their language in a while Feels that they don't deserve to be saved. G-d says not to worry One of the signs is the staff turning into a snake, and Moshe runs away. Why is he afraid? Instinct or he is scared of evil. Snakes represent evil and are the symbols of Egypt. doesn't want to show up his brother But Moshe agrees to go and takes his family with him to Egpyt. on the way there... Moshe became ill, and was hovering between life and death. An angel stopped him and his wife on the road and cause this to happen. Why? Because he had not stopped to give his son a brit milah, even though he was the one who had made his wife promise they could do it for their sons. That is how eager he was to go out and do what G-d wanted him to do. His wife gave their child a brit, and she said to someone that they had made her husband a bloody groom.
Who did she say this to? She could be speaking to Moshe, saying that by not doing the brit like he had wanted, he had caused himself to become a bloody groom.
She could be speaking to the angel, and saying to it that it has caused Moshe to be a bloody, sick, groom. After that Incident, things went by smoothly.
Moshe went to Egpyt and was greeted by his brother Aharon, who did not resent him at all.
Moshe went to speak to Pharaoh, and the rest, as they say, is history... What we have learned about Moshe Moshe was caring, compassionate, someone who could not stand by and watch people suffer, he was a man who acted, he was very close to G-d, he had patience, he was eager to do what G-d wanted him to do, he was kind, considerate, thoughtful, self-sacraficing, he was humble, and all in all a great leader with much more to be learned about him in future parshot to come.
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