“Do As I Do” Works by Dr. Joel Berman


The Midrash lists ten names for Moshe. Three of the names are Chever, Yered, and Yekutiel. Chever literally means to attach, in this case referring to Moshe attaching Klal Yisrael to the Torah. Yered means to bring down, in this case referring to Moshe bringing the Torah down from Shamayim. Yekutiel means, literally, “Hashem is my hope.” Each of our greatest prophet's names has a deep meaning, except, apparently, for his name Moshe. The name Moshe comes from the word “Meshitihu” (Shemot 2:10), referring to Batyah, Par’oh’s daughter, drawing a young Moshe out of the Nile River. The question therefore arises as to the special significance of the name Moshe.

Many years ago, I heard Rav Yaakov Haber recount how Rav Moshe Feinstein, in his famous Sefer Igrot Moshe, penned a remarkable Teshuvah. A Rebbe wrote to Rav Moshe asking if it would be appropriate to tell his students of his non-observant past in hopes of demonstrating to them the emptiness of a secular lifestyle. Employing no uncertain terms, Rav Moshe said, "No!" He explained that deeds are much more powerful than words. By talking about his non-observant past with his students, Rav Haber would only teach them that it is acceptable to lead a non-observant lifestyle for some time before becoming observant.

Saving Moshe was a courageous act. Batyah risked her life by defying Par’oh and saving a Jewish baby. She put her convictions that her father was wrong into action. For this she was rewarded; the name Moshe stuck.

We can talk up a storm, but is our behavior which really counts. For better or worse, it is our deeds that matter. As valuable as thoughts and words are, our actions are judged and determine who we are.

Size Matters by Yehoshua Zirman

The King’s Palace by Adam Haimowitz