Moses

Moses was the leader of the Israelites during their Exodus

from Egypt. According to the Bible, Moses was born to

a Hebrew slave mother but was put into a basket made of reeds and

placed in the Nile River. He was rescued from the Nile

by the daughter of the Egyptian Pharoah and raised by her

as an Egyptian prince. The name of Moses

means "drawn from water" in the Egyptian's language.


Baby Moses in the reed basket

When Moses discovered that he was an Israelite instead of an Egyptian,

Moses went to Pharoah to ask that the Israelites be released

from slavery in Egypt. According to the Torah, God gave Moses

amazing powers to convince the Pharoah to release the Israelites

from slavery. Some of these powers were turning water into blood, covering

the land in total darkness during the day, bringing great swarms

of insects to eat all the crops and causing plagues of disease and destruction.

The Torah tells that the tenth plague when all the first-born children in

Egypt died finally convinced the Pharoah to set the Israelites free.


Moses and Aaron asking Pharoah to release the Israelites from Egypt

During the forty years the Israelites wandered through the desert they lived

by a set of laws. The most important were known as the Ten Commandments.

According to the Bible, Moses was given the Torah by God at the top

of Mount Sinai. When he came down from the mountain, Moses gave the Israelites

these commandments that had been inscribed on stone tablets. The

Israelites believed that if they obeyed these commandments, they

would get God's blessing and protection.


Moses and the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai

Moses was a great leader. Jewish tradition considers Moses to be

the greatest of all their prophets or leaders.