Numbers 25:10 - 30:1

Yocheved, Hidden Lady Of Honor ©

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of of Beau Gehrause, may he rest in peace.

Yocheved was the only survivor of the entire 210 year period of Mitzriam captivity. She was conceived in Canaan and born as her family passed through the gates of Mitzriam. Genesis 46:15 states, “All the souls of his {Yaakov’s} sons and daughters were thirty-three.” However only thirty-two are listed. Who is missing? Numbers 26:59 states, “The name of Amram’s wife was Yocheved, daughter of Levi, whom [her mother] bore to Levi in Mitzriam.” From this we learn that she was conceived in Canaan but born in Mitzriam. Yocheved was counted among the thirty-three even though her name does not appear. She was the child who in Jewish tradition is known as being born “between the walls.”

According to the Torah Yocheved was the mother of Aharon, Moshe and their sister Miriam. Numbers 26:59

We know that Yocheved is referred to as “the daughter of Levi” in Exodus 2:1 because her youth returned so she could give birth to Moshe.

Yocheved saw that Moshe was a goodly child...
Yocheved hid Moshe for three months...
Yocheved prepared a plan by which Moshe’s life would be spared...
Yocheved prepared an ark to save Moshe’s life...
Yocheved placed Miriam to guard the ark until discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh...
Yocheved raised Moshe then brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter...

Both Yocheved and her daughter, Miriam, are accredited with being the midwives of Exodus 1:15. Rashi states that Yocheved was called Shifrah {Shef Raw} after {Sheh Mi Shah Peh Rehs} “because she would put the new into proper [physical] condition.” Miriam was called Puah “because she would make loud noises and speak and articulate to the newborn, as do women who pacify a child that is crying. [The word] Poo Aw, means shouting loudly as in: ‘I will scream like a birthing woman.’”

Aside from this, little is recorded about Yocheved. In fact the Torah only speaks of Yocheved four times: Genesis 46:26, 27, Exodus 2:1 -10, 6:20 and Numbers 26:59. Yocheved’s name is only mentioned twice in the Torah. Both times only as the wife of Levi. Generally the Torah only makes inferences to her. Yet Yocheved’s contribution is so great.

The Torah speaks of Yocheved’s children by name a total of 862 times, Moshe 592 times, Aharon 260 times and Miriam 10 times Yet the Torah only mentions Yocheved by name twice.

We measure our time in Mitzriam of 210 years by Yocheved, yet she is only mentioned twice. She is the mother of three very great children, yet she is only mentioned twice.

Holy reader, how many mothers with such famous children grab the limelight and seize attention just because of their children? People want to know about the mothers of such powerful children. The mother’s life is like an open book with just about every reporter writing a page... How did Yocheved avoid all this? How did she remain so silent in the background? How is it that so few words are written about her?

Yocheved’s name is derived from two sources which mean Hashem Gloried.
The first two letters, the Yud and the Vav come from Hashem’s own name. The Yud is the first letter and the Vav is the third letter. In other words, the first two letters of Yocheved’s name are a representation of Hashem’s name. The last three letters of Yocheved’s name Cheh Behd {Kee Bayd or Koo Bahd} means to honor, respect venerate, esteem, glorify or to be honored.

Our sages teach that one should not chase after Caw Vod, honor {with a Vav added between the Bais and the Dalet}. Yocheved is a perfect example of this. She had all the opportunity to share the limelight with her famous children, but nothing is recorded of such actions. Instead she ran from honor. That is why her name reflects that she is honored by Hashem.

Dear reader, holy reader, is it important for our every action to be recorded and broadcast to the world, or is it more important for our contribution to be extremely great but only mildly noticed such as Yocheved’s? It is true that we need great people but we need great people, great leaders who are humble. We need people whose contribution is greater than their name.

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. With the money that he received from selling his patent on dynamite he created something greater than himself, the Nobel Peace Prizes.

Yocheved had three very great children, Moshe, the leader of Yisroel and scribe of the Torah; Aharon, the first Kohen Godal; and Miriam, the prophetess of Yisroel. Each like their mother were exceeding humble.

Dear, dear, holy reader, Yocheved was most secure and comfortable in her individual relationship with G-d the Creator. She had no gaping, empty black holes in her life that needed to be filled. She was entirely fulfilled in G-d. She was comfortable in her role as mother to Moshe, Aharon and Miriam. She controlled her natural cravings. She remained supportive of her children without interference. What a spiritual rock! What an anchor of stability.

What is important, holy reader, is our contribution, not our honor...

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Weekly Studies

JewishPath is a sponsor of B'nai Noach Torah Institute. As a sponsor we are permitted to offer one FREE E-Mail course on a limited basis per individual from BNTI's Introduction Courses. We invite you to visit and choose an E - Mail Intro Course. BNTI offers Intro Courses in Judaism and Spirituality {7 Noaich Laws}. BNTI Responses are NOT AUTO!!

B'nai Noach Torah Institute offers dozens of tuition e - mail courses. Please visit BNTI's Tuition Courses page.
For Jewish Classmates: Gematria, Parsha, Tehillim, Medos, High Holidays and many more...
For Spiritualist Classmates: Bereishis, Torah, Blessings, Intro. Hebrew and many more...