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    Better than precious oil – Sh’mot

    The Book of Sh’mot (“Names”) opens with the names of the Hebrews who came to Egypt with Jacob.

    The book records the events that befell the Hebrew family from Egypt onwards.

    More important than one’s first name or surname is whether one has a good name, in the sense of a good reputation.

    Kohelet 7:1 says, “A good name is better than precious oil”. Midrash Kohelet says (7:4), “An earned name is worth much more than a given name”.

    A relative, AI Bard, was head of the Kashrut Commission in London. At his funeral I said he was known as “Kashrut Bard”, not just because of his communal position but because he was a kosherer Mensch, an upright, honest human being.

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