Thursday, October 18, 2007

Zipporah, Wife of Moses

By Marek Halter

This is not a book assigned by my Rabbi, but it is a book about a Jewish theme. It's a work of historical fiction; an attempt to flesh out a marginalized character. As such, I do not know how very accurate it is, other than that I could find no obvious inconsistency with the Biblical accounts.

That said, I really liked this Zipporah.. She was wise, passionate and firey, just as I would expect the wife of a great, though insecure, man to be. The author emphasized that Moses was not raised Jewish by having Zipporah act as his teacher. She served to boost his confidence in the face of the difficult task God put in front of him. This, I liked and felt might well have been authentic.

The author contended that Moses had only one wife, and that the reference to the Cushite wife of Moses was literal. Since we know from the Bible that Jethro was Zipporah's father, and that he was a Hebrew, the author wrote that Zipporah was rescued and adopted by Jethro. This makes Zipporah a convert, and I kind of like that (being a convert myself).

There were also some things that I didn't believe.. The author solved the problem of Moses not choosing one of his sons to be the next leader by killing them off in the chaos that followed Moses' discovery of the Golden Calf. I just felt like that would have been included in the Biblical account of that story. I had the same issue with the murder of Zipporah. It seemed too sensational and contrived, and also like something that would have been recorded.

As I continue my studies, I may form a different opinion, but for now, I liked it.

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