Friday, January 13, 2012

Shemot: What we learn from Moses' names

Parshat Shemot: Exodus 2:1-2 A man of the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son, and [when] she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months.
Exodus 2:9-10
.. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will give [you] your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him.  The child grew up, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became like her son. She named him Moses, and she said, "For I drew him from the water."

Common sense says that Jochved and Amram (Moses’ parents) must have had a name for him other than Moses, which was a name that he did not receive until he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. Tradition tells us that he actually had as many as ten names. Moses was called Yered (ירד), implying descent, by Miriam; Avigdor (master of the fence) by his grandfather, Chever (connector) by his father, and Yekutiel (יקותיא-ל), from the root kavei (קוה) meaning hope, by his mother. God, however, only calls him Moses in the Torah. From this we learn that although we may present various faces or roles to different people in our life,  the way to relate to divinity is from the place within us that is always flowing like water, yet is still constant and unvarying.

May we be blessed to relate to the world from that aspect of our true self that is steady and constant, yet always flowing.

for sources for Moses' names, see:

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