Another Mother

Question

Hi Rabbi, this may seem like a strange question, but I’m looking for an idea of something to say to a Jewish kid in my school to encourage more study about Judaism. Thanks!

1 year

Answers

  1. Believe me, I’ve had a lot of much stranger questions over the years! In fact, your question is quite interesting and not at all strange in my opinion.

    A number of years ago, a rabbi-friend and I decided to develop a computer game (on floppy-disks, if you know what I mean) to “test” a person’s “Jewish IQ” in an entertaining way. A coder made it look like Pacman, and we called it Mitzvah Man.

    One of the questions in the quiz was the following: Jesus’ mother was Mary, what is the name of Moses’ mother? It was a multiple choice quiz, with three serious options and one other that was a Star Wars reference.

    The reaction to the quiz/game was successful beyond our expectations, but the reactions to this particular question and answer blew us away. People both far and near contacted us and shared their experiences. Many told us that when they (or their “friend”) saw this question and didn’t know the answer, they were often stunned and questioned their basic Jewish knowledge. “How could I know one mother’s name without the other name? Isn’t Moses the one who led the Jewish People from Egypt to Israel and was instrumental in our receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai? How could I not know more about him?”

    In fact, a number of people told us that this little question was the reason — at least in part — for their starting to go to classes in Judaism in their location and read more about their heritage. And, sometimes, they started experimenting with some basic Jewish practices. I hope this idea is helpful and wish you much happiness, good health and success.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team