Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Moses Rabaynoo


Moses, our teacher, is commonly used when speaking of the leader of the Children of Israel. His life has been recorded in the five books named after him, although the first book of the Torah, Beraysheet, does not mention him.

Moses' mother was Yocheved and his father was Amram. His parents called him Chaver and his grandfather named him Avigdor. Yet, we know him as Moshe, meaning "to take out", because as a baby he was taken out of the river by the daughter of the Pharao. Moshe is the Hebrew translation of the Egyptian word minios, which also means "to take out".

The Torah tells us that Yocheved raised Moshe herself because Pharao's daughter, at Miriam's suggestion, hired Yocheved as his governess. Miriam was Moses' sister. (Shmot 2:7-10). Moses lived at the court of the Pharao for 40 years until he killed an Egyptian slave driver who was beating a Jewish slave. (Shmot 2:11-12). Moses then spent forty years in Midian, where he married the daughter of the Midianite priest, Yitro. Her name was Zipporah and she and Moshe had a son name Gershon. (Shmot 2:22).

In Shmot (Exodus) chapters 3 and 4 we read how G'd chose Moshe to lead the children of Israel from slavery to freedom, having first brought the ten plagues to Egypt and, upon crossing the Red Sea, arrived at Mt. Sinai. There G'd gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments and the people accepted them. (Shmot  Chapters 12-24).

Tradition tells us that Moshe wrote the entire five books named after him and that G'd even revealed to Moshe all of the prophets, all of the writings and all of the Talmud.

Moshe instituted a judicial system in Israel while he led the Children of Israel through forty years of wandering in the desert to the Promised Land that is Israel.

Moshe died in the year 2488. Therefore, the Exodus occurred in 2528. At his death, Moshe was 120 years old. (Devorim 34:7). Fearing that Moshe might be worshipped as a god, his grave was left unmarked. The Torah tells us that G'd Himself buried Moshe. (Deut.34-6).

Moshe had a brother, Aaron, and a sister, Miriam, who stayed with him throughout the wandering in the desert until they both died in the desert. Neither Moses nor his siblings entered the Promised Land, Israel.

The great medieval Jewish scholar, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, or Rambam, listed thirteen principles of Jewish belief. Among these is the belief that Moshe received all of the scriptures of the Jews, including the Talmud. The thirteen principles of Jewish belief, according to Moses ben Maimon are:

1. God exists

2. God is one and unique

3. God is incorporeal

4. God is eternal

5. Prayer is to be directed to God

6. The words of the prophets are true

7. Moses' prophecies are true, as he was the greatest prophet

8. The written and oral Torah were given to Moses

9. There will be no other Torah

10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men

11. God will reward the good and punish the wicked

12. The Messiah will come

13. The dead will be resurrected.

There are of course many among our readers who reject all this and view this entire essay as myth. Educated in the scientific environment of our colleges and universities, many scoff at the idea of believing that Moshe even existed. Yet, the same people believe what the media tell them despite the evidence that our media and our politicians deal mainly in myths.

Read again the work of Immanuel Kant and then decide whether any of us really understand the difference between myth and reality.

Shalom uívracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Man's Ascent to Reason (2003) & the forthcoming Football & American Identity.

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