Moshe Rabbeinu

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 6-12
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal


1. To learn Moshe's family life and background

2. To consider about the life and times of Moshe Rabbeinu

3. To understand that Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest Jewish leader ever!

Resource Contents


Moshe, Moses, Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshe our Teacher, Moses the main man! In this week's kvutsah we take a look at the personality behind the stories. We focus in on the central 'character' of four of the five books of the Torah.

So who was Moshe? Where did he come from and what was he like? What did he accomplish in his life? What were his dreams and did he manage to realize them?

"Moshe" - the individual who became, by his own great effort, the greatest human being who ever lived; Chosen by G-d to lead the Jewish People out of Egypt, and to be main Teacher of Torah to the Jewish People. Called "Moshe Rabbeinu," Moshe our "Master," or "Teacher," because he was the teacher par excellence of all of Jewish History. Brother of Aharon and Miriam; son of Amram and Yocheved; raised in the palace of Pharaoh because rescued from the Nile by the daughter of Pharaoh. Called "Master of the Prophets," the "humblest of men," and, by G-d, "he is trustworthy in all of My Palace."

Moshe Rabbeinu an absolute king!He was a man of humble beginnings, and despite his rise in power he remained a humble figure throughout. Today we say, Moshe Rabbeinu, this is your life

Moshe was born to Amram and Yocheved from Shevet Levi (the tribe of Levi) in Egypt. He had an older brother called Aharon and an older sister called Miriam. Moshe was born at a time when the Pharoh of Egypt had declared that all new born Jewish boys must be thrown in the Nile. Yocheved realised how extraordinary he [the child] was, and she kept him hidden for 3 months (Shemot 2:2). When she could no longer hide him, she made a waterproof box, put him in it and placed it in the rushes of the Nile. Miriam watched from afar as Pharohs daughter took a dip in the Nile and discovered her baby brother. Miriam offered to find a Hebrew nurse for the baby and returned the baby to their mother. Pharohs daughter paid for the nurse, and when the baby was old enough she adopted him, gave him the name Moshe (lit. I drew him out from the water) and raised him in the Palace.

When Moshe was older he began to walk around Egypt and noted the harsh situation of his own people. After seeing an Egyptian taskmaster kill one of the Hebrews, Moshe killed the taskmaster and buried his body in the sand. The next day, when trying to break up an argument between 2 Hebrew men, he realized that the previous days incident was well known, and as Pharoh was trying to have him killed (), Moshe fled to Midyan. After Moshe helped out the daughters of Yitro, the high priest of Midyan, he took him in, Yitro gave Moshe his daughter Tzipporah as a wife and they have 2 sons, Gershom and Eliezer.

Act 2: Scene 1:

Moshe was doing a grand job as a shepherd for Yitro. One day he came across a sneh (burning bush) and couldnt work out how it could be on fire yet not burning the bush. Hashem spoke to Moshe and explained that he should take off his sandals as he was on holy ground. Hashem then told Moshe, I am the G-d of your father, the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzchak and the G-d of Yaakov I have indeed seen the suffering of My people in Egypt I will bring them out of that land to a land flowing with milk and honey I am sending you to Pharoh. Bring My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt (3:6 -10).

We first see Moshes midah (character trait) of humility as he tries to grapple with his mission, stating his inabilities. Hashem shows Moshe 2 miracles to perform (turning his stick into a snake and back again, and covering his hand with leprosy and then curing it) and tells him that Aharon his brother will be Moshes spokesperson. Taking his wife and 2 sons, Moshe left for Egypt

Moshe and Aharon met up and Moshe relayed to him all that Hashem had said. Aharon in turn then relayed this to the elders of Bnei Yisrael and then they went to Pharoh. Pharoh was unimpressed and said, Who is Hashem that I should obey Him and let Israel go? I do not recognize Hashem. Nor will I let Israel leave (5:2). As a result of this failed, little encounter the workload of Bnei Yisrael was increased, as did their resentment of Moshe and Aharon.

Hashem renews Moshes mission, and Moshe and Aharon go to Pharoh again. This time they begin with their snake party piece. Pharohs magicians were able to do the same and none of them were particularly fazed by the fact that Moshes staff (stick, not teachers) ate theirs. Despite a warning of a plague, Pharoh was adamant that his slaves would not be leaving, and consequently the ten makot (plagues) followed. Pharoh and the Egyptians went through the plagues of Blood, Frogs, Lice (I get itchy just thinking about it!), Wild Animals, Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts and Darkness, each time making Moshe stop them by agreeing to let Bnei Yisrael go and then changing his mind. It was only after the tenth and final plague of Makot Bechorot, Killing of the Firstborns, that Pharoh told Moshe to take Bnei Yisrael away from them. Moshe overseas the first Pesach Seder and then leads Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt. Moshe took the people towards the Yam Suf, where Pharoh and his army could be seen chasing after them. The Splitting of the Yam Suf - perhaps the hugest and most incredible open miracle saw the Egyptian army drowning and Bnei Yisrael rejoicing over their freedom from physical slavery and the greatness of G-d.

Act 3:

The scenes that follow are far more than any leader should have to endure. Complaints at every turn, ungratefulness, and an ultimate dream that would never be realised.

It all began 3 days after they crossed the Yam Suf, when Bnei Yisrael complain that the first water they find is bitter. In fact, the majority of complaints focus around food and water. Each time Hashem (often through Moshe) answers their cries and provides for them (water, mun, quails etc).

Then there is the battle side of things. Amalek attacks Bnei Yisrael from behind and whilst Yehoshua is sent in to lead the army, Moshe leads them spiritually, keeping his arms raised to Hashem throughout.

The highlight of Moshes leadership career, must, surely be Matan Torah (receiving the Torah) on Har Sinai, but even this is marred by Bnei Yisraels cheit haeigel (sin of the golden calf). Moshe managed to get Bnei Yisrael another chance, and received the second set of luchot (tablets).

Scene 4:
The next scene in his life is the construction and dedication of the Mishkan. We continue to see Moshe in his roles as a guide, judge, leader (mother?! (Bamidbar 10:12) and mouthpiece for Hashem. Moshe davens for his sister Miriam (who was punished for talking loshen hora against Moshe coming to a choveret near you soon), perhaps repaying the kindness of when she watched over him as a baby in the Nile. We also focus on the strength of his character and leadership as Moshe stands up to the challenges of the Meraglim (spies) and Korach (his first cousin check out the family tree above!) and then restores Bnei Yisraels confidence Hashem and Moshe and Aharons leadership.

The next incident in Moshes life is perhaps the saddest scene of all. The pressure of leadership through thick and thin, putting up with Bnei Yisraels cries and complaints finally gets too much. Surprisingly Bnei Yisrael are whining about the lack of water, and Moshe infamously hits the rock that was to produce water for them. As a result of such a public mistake by Moshe Rabbeinu, the punishment was huge. Moshe had watched and encouraged Bnei Yisrael through every stage of their development. Under the command of Hashem, Moshe had lead Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt, shake off their slave mentality, receive the Torah and accept a spiritual and religious framework. He helped them construct the Mishkan to ready Bnei Yisrael for their new lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael. He was always there to support the people, and his main desire, was to lead them into Eretz Yisrael. However, his punishment meant that his wildest dream would never come true. Moshe would never step foot into Israel.

Perhaps most impressive of all Moshes life, was the dedication in which he led Bnei Yisrael after this event. Practically the whole of Sefer Devarim is Moshe retelling mitzvot to the new generation (as over 40 years the previous generation had died out) and reminding Am Yisrael of how they should behave and act in a manor befitting the land they were about to enter into.

The last scene of Moshes life is handing over leadership to Yehoshua, blessing all the tribes and died by G-ds mouth (Devarim 34:5) on Har Nevo.

"And no other prophet like Moshe has arisen in Israel, who knew G-d face to face. [No one else could reproduce] the signs and miracles that G-d let him display in the land of Egypt, to Pharoh and all his land, or any of the mighty acts or great sights that Moshe displayed before the eyes of all Israel." (Devarim 34:10-12) (Chazak chazack vnitchazeck).

As we are plainly told here, (and similarly in the 13 Principles of Faith and Yigdal) Moshe was an incredible leader, the best that Bnei Yisrael ever had or will have. Moshe was the one person who led Am Yisrael through their several major transitions in their collective life. Moshe Rabbeinu led, taught and helped to mould Am Yisrael from their physical redemption, through to their spiritual redemption and up to entering the Promised Land.

Moshe Rabbeinu Moshe our Teacher
Lived 120 years (2368 2488)
Mentioned by name: 525 times

1. To learn Moshes family life and background

Family Trees Quiz on Moshes life and for each correct answer they get the name of a person or piece of a puzzle with the family tree on. The winner is the one that can put it together first. You can extend this by asking questions about the family (who were Moshes parents? How were they related? What relation was Moshe to you get the idea!)

Mummies and Babies Half the kvutsah sit on chairs in a circle (they are the babies), the other half stand behind a baby each (they are the mummies/daddies). There should be one extra mummy with no baby, just an empty chair. The mummy tries to get a baby by winking at the babies and the baby winked at must try to run to their new mummies chair without being tagged by their mum. If they are tagged, the mummy keeps trying, if they are not, then their old mum wants a new baby.

2. To consider about the life and times of Moshe Rabbeinu

Moshe Rabbeinu this is your life! This can also be done as a whole sviva trigger and perhaps as a show in mifkad. There are several ways to do T.I.Y.L, either everyone has a character who is brought into the studio and must explain their relationship with Moshe and recall a funny incident, or small groups act out parts of his life, which are shown to Moshe as flashbacks, Moshe must then add some personal feelings to each scene.

Act out the story of Moshes life, you might even want to include some songs from the Prince of Egypt.

3. To understand that Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest Jewish leader ever!

Follow my leader one person goes out the room and a leader is chosen. The leader must start actions and keep changing them, which is followed by the whole group. The person comes back in the room and must guess whom the leader is.

Balloon Debate Split the kvutsah into small groups (or individuals) and give each one a famous leader (Clinton, Blair, Sadaam Husein, Moshe etc) and they must debate who is the best leader.

Resource Comments

Time: Shabbat and weekday (incorporate movie on weekday)

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