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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 1/4/19

Torah is very clear about how Moses got his name. When the Egyptian princess rescues a Hebrew baby from the Nile, she calls him ‘Moses,’ since she drew him (mesheetihu) from the water.

But if Moses was given this name months after his birth, what did his family call him?

According to various traditions, Moses had not one but many Hebrew names!

His mother called him Yekutiel, from the Hebrew root meaning ‘hope.’ Yocheved foresaw that her son would be the Jewish people’s great hope.

His sister gave him the name Yered, from the Hebrew verb meaning ‘descent.’ Miriam envisioned a time when Moses would bring down Torah from Sinai.

Moses had other names as well, including Avigdor, Chever, Levi, Avi Socho, and Tuviah. Each of these Hebrew names was based on a different quality in Moses’ character.

Moses was called by many names throughout his life. We too may have many names given to us by our parents, our siblings, our spouses, children, and friends. Hopefully our names reflect our best qualities, reflecting our strength and character.

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