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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shifrah, and the name of the second Puah…………………(Exodus 1:15)

The king of Egypt had a scheme to murder the male newborns of the Israelites. He wanted the Hebrew midwives to kill the male newborns at birth. However, these righteous woman ignored his command.

Rashi comments on the names of these midwives as follows: “ Shifrah-this is Yochevet, she was called Shifrah because she adorned the child. (She cleaned the child after birth.

Yochevet is also Mosha’s mother.) Puah-this is Miriam, she was called Puah because she would murmur to the child in order to pacify the child’s wailing like saying “Pu Pu Pu”.

(This was Mosha’s sister.)

Why does the Torah have to go out of its way to enumerate the various names of the midwives as explained by Rashi? Why are their activities as midwives so important?

The Torah is teaching us a very important lesson, Bezrat Hashem. Every action a person does is recorded and acknowledged by G-d. Nobody can possibly hide from G-d, its impossible. No act should ever be deemed insignificant; especially seemingly small acts of kindness. A person might not even consider the activities of the midwives to be of any significance, yet the Torah makes it significant. Small acts of everyday kindness are valuable indeed. Can we possibly afford to neglect the treasure trove of good deeds that are blatantly before us? In order to better understand this concept, I would like to propose an original parable, Bezrat Hashem. Their once exited a very talented goldsmith who made the most exotic and beautiful jewelry. In the process of making jewelry, often gold dust would accumulate. The goldsmith would carefully gather this residue dust and deposit it in special location. A person once asked him why he was doing this, if it’s only insignificant dust particles. The goldsmith answered this question in the following manner: “ You don’t understand, from this dust another masterpiece can be produced. This is gold, even it’s dust is valuable. “ Have a good Shabbos…………………………….


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