Strong Jewish Women

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Moses's "Women" -- Yocheved, Miriam, Batya and Tzippora


Moshe (Moses), the greatest leader of the Jewish people, owed a lot to four women in his life.

When Amram, the grandson of Levi, heard that Pharaoh was ordering the midwives to throw all the Jewish baby boys into the Nile River, he separated from his wife Yocheved. At the time they had two children -- Miriam and Aharon (Aaron). Miriam told her father that Pharaoh had only decreed against the boys, but by separating from his wife, he was decreeing also against the girls. So Miriam got her parents back together.

Because of the separation, though, the Egyptian officials didn't plan on checking on Yocheved for 9 months after they got back together. But miraculously, a baby boy was born 6 months after Amram and Yocheved got back together. For 3 months the were able to hide him, since no one expected Yocheved to have a baby for 3 more months. But after the 3 months Yocheved knew the Egyptian officials would come by and find her son, so she put him in a tar coated hay basket and sent him floating in the River.

Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, saw the basket and the baby and decided she wanted to raise him. She named his Moshe. Miriam saw her take the baby and asked her if she wanted a wet nurse to nurse the baby. This is how Moshe was nursed by his own mother after being "adopted" by Pharaoh's daughter.

Later in his life, Moshe, who grew up in the palace, saw an Egyptian overseer beating a Jewish worker (slave). Trying to get the man to stop beating the slave, he hit him and killed him and buried him in the ground. He knew, at that point, that he needed to run, so he ran. Eventually, he ran to Midyan where he met Tzippora, the daughter of the Midyanite priest, Yitro. Moshe stayed with Yitro, married Tzippora, they had two sons and he worked as a shepherd.

Because G-d called Moshe to get his people out of Egypt a short time after his second son was born, Moshe didn't have time to circumcise him. On their way back to Egypt, an angel came and was about to kill Moshe because his son was uncircumcised. Tzippora saw the angel and knew why he was there. She grabbed a sharp rock, circumcised her son and threw the foreskin at Moshe's feet.

Check out merchandise with three of Moshe's "women":
Yocheved: Yocheved
Miriam: Miriam
Tzippora: Tzippora

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