Parashat Shemot (Names) Exodus 1:1-6:1
Prophetic Reading Haftarah Isa. 27:6-28, 29:22-23 A
Jeremiah 1:1-2:3 S
This week we begin a new book in our annual pilgrimage through the Torah. We begin the book of Exodus. The Hebrew name is Shemot, which means names for the name of Joseph and his brothers who went down to Egypt. The verse on which I would like to focus is found in the second chapter of Exodus,
“A man went out from the house of Levi and he took a daughter of Levi (for a wife).” Exodus 2:1
This verse is obviously speaking about Amram and Yochebed the parents of Moses. It is important to note that Moses’ parents were Levites – the chosen tribe to serve G-d and His people in a unique way. In other words, the tribe of Levi had a calling upon them. Much is not known about Moses’ father, but he did choose a wife from his tribe. This showed sensitivity to the instructions of G-d. There is no doubt he was a godly man, even though virtually nothing is written about him in the Bible. Many times people do not know who are the righteous ones around them.
I believe you can tell a great deal about a man by looking at his children. Even though the lives of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses were not perfect; each of them showed a desire to serve G-d. Where did they receive this trait? From their parents.
Often times the names of people in the Bible are very telling. Amram means “exalted people” and Yochebed means “honor of G-d”. This is what these parents instilled in their children – a desire to lift of their people closer to G-d by honoring G-d.
One of the lies of the enemy is that investing in your children is not all that important. There is a growing tendency for parents to entrust others with their children rather than spending the quality hours that are needed to instill the values of G-d in their sons and daughters. It is so easy to believe that there will always be time to make the impact you want in your children. But as a father of three teenagers I can tell you that those days of diapers and sleepless nights which I thought would never end do eventually pass. Those days of being asked “why” and “will you play with me abba” come to an abrupt end. Those days of your children wanting to help you, be with you, and listen to you cease and you find yourself far less significant than their friends.
Yes all that is really known about Amram and Yochebed is that they were the parents of Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. I believe that they are well pleased with this being the only imprint they left in this world. If you were evaluated based upon your children’s spirituality, what would this say about you and me?
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