Because of the water, I drew him

“Pharaoh’s Daughter and Moses,” by Marc Chagall

A teaching by Uziel Meizlish, from Tiferet Uziel, Parshat Shemot.

She named him Moses, saying, “For from the water I drew him.”                   וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מֹשֶׁה וַתֹּאמֶר כִּי מִן הַמַּיִם מְשִׁיתִהוּ    Exodus 2:10

This is a hint that Moses was a reincarnation of Noah. He took upon himself many deaths (1) in order to save Israel so that he could make amends for not praying to save his generation, which perished in the flood (2). Had it not been for the waters of the flood, Moses would not have sinned in his first life and so would not have had to return to this world. This is what is being hinted at in the words for from the water, which can also mean “because of the water” —            because of the water, he was drawn again to this world.


1) Many lives, or reincarnations, for there were sixteen generations between Noah and Moses.   2) The Jewish tradition has long taken issue with the fact that, apparently, Noah, who is described as a righteous person, makes no effort to save his fellows.

Jeff says…

Some people are surprised to find that reincarnation is a Jewish idea, but it is a mainstay of Jewish mysticism. The first mention of Jews believing in reincarnation is by Rabbi Sa’adia Gaon (882-942), although he argues against it (cf. Emunot VeDeot 6:8). Ramban (1194-c. 1270), the first to write a complete commentary on the Torah using kabbalistic interpretations and considered the bearer of a much older mystical tradition, mentions it in several places. It appears in the Zohar, and the Arizal (1534-1572) even taught which Biblical figures are reincarnations of others. This is almost certainly the source of the idea in our teaching that Moses was a reincarnation of Noah.

This entry was posted in Concepts, Hasidic Masters, Parsha, Reincarnation, Shemot, Uziel Meizlish/ Tiferes Uziel. Bookmark the permalink.

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