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    Names & deeds – T’tzavveh

    mosheThis portion is read in the week of 7 Adar, Moses’ Yahrzeit. It does not mention Moses even once.

    Did Moses intentionally omit his own name? If so, it would have been out of humility, not because he knew the date of his death. But the Torah was written at God’s command, and God knew what Moses didn’t.

    He must have had a reason for omitting Moses’ name, possibly to teach the lesson that what you do for the world is valuable even if you are not explicitly mentioned.

    Civilisation is an amalgam of the contributions of countless people great and small. Some of the names are known to the historians, but more important than names are deeds.

    In science and medicine we can name many discoveries – the Hippocratic oath, Archimedes’ principle, Parkinson’s disease, etc. – but in other fields our list of names is patchy at best (the Hills hoist, Marquess of Queensberry rules, sandwiches, Churchillian oratory, etc.), and most things are taken for granted with no thought of a vote of thanks.

    We need a Thanksgiving Day on which to acknowledge all who made our lives possible and rich.

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