A close reading of the beginning of Exodus shows that a number of women were
involved in bringing about the redemption.
● Shifra & Puah, the midwives,(Jewish or Egyptian?) refused to fulfill Pharoah’s
command to kill the newborn Jewish boys. Their “excuse” - The Jewish women
give birth early & naturally, without needing midwives. They utilize Pharoah’s fear
of the Jews that reproduce so greatly as animals, to excuse themselves. They
“feared G-d” (his moral law) more than the feared the almighty ruler - Pharoah!
● The daughter of Levi (later introduced as Yocheved) married and conceived
even though Pharoah decreed death on all male newborns - bravely defied his
● Daughter of Levi hides her son for three months & when can’t hide him any
longer, she puts him in the “teva” in the Nile, hoping he will somehow be saved.
If asked where her babe is she would reply, I threw him in the Nile as per
Pharoah’s decree!
● Babe’s sister watches over him in the Nile to try to protect him. Ultimately gets
him back to his Jewish mother to wetnurse him for Pharoah’s daughter.
● Pharoah’s daughter defies her father’s decree & adopts the Jewish abandoned
babe. Gives him to Jewish wetnurse for some years & then takes him back &
names him MOSES (in Egyptian = “son”). Raises him as her son in the Royal
Palace. Moses is reborn from the Nile to his second Mother, Pharoah’s daughter.
Raised in royalty - maybe necessary in order to be able to lead his people ought
of Egypt. Even though raised in Palace, apparently Pharoah’s daughter does not
hide his Jewish identity from him!
● Tzipora saves Moses’ live by circumcising their son on the way back to Egypt.
allowing Moses to get back to lead The Jews out of Egypt.
● Many Midrashim develop these points!
● Reuven Werber - Kfar Etzion

haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story
Source: Based on talk by Dr. Gili Zivan