In a message dated 8/17/2004 12:05:33 AM Eastern Standard Time,
. . . I don't know if Beider mentions the reason for this kinnuy:
according to the Bible, the original Moshe was given that name by
Pharaoh's daughter. But logically his parents must have already given
him a name, which the Bible neglects to mention. According to midrash,
he had seven (or in other versions 10) such names, and one of them
The name Avigdor appears in Chronicles as Avi Goder, father of Goder (a man's
name), many centuries after the death of Moses. The various names imputed to
Moshe Rabbeinu are listed in the Talmud, Megillah. Logically (or at least by
applying Occam's razor), since the Bible doesn't mention any Hebrew name we
must assume he had none or it *would* have been mentioned. It is doubtful that
Moses even knew he was an Israelite until the revelation enveloping the events
that forced him to flee Egypt.
He had not been circumcised until adulthood (on his return to Egypt >from
Midian, as the Torah clearly informs us) and >from Exodus 2:2 it appears he was
placed in the Nile for his safety three months after his birth. I would have
said that his circumcision was delayed because his father Amram was away as a
slave, but the Midrash states that no Levites (Moses was a great-granson of Levi)
were pressed into slavery. The delay in circumcision would thus have been to
avoid his being recognized as an Israelite and killed by the Egyptians.
There is an Ashkenazy tradition that child is not given a name until his
survival is assured. It might be a very very ancient practice.
Michael Bernet, New York