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    These are the names – Sh’mot

    The title of the sidra is Sh’mot, “Names”. It lists the names of the Children of Jacob who came to settle in Egypt.

    Names play a major role in the Bible, not just because everyone has a name to identify them but because having a name generally indicates one’s reputation.

    Mishlei says, “A good name is better than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). Kohelet says, “A good name is better than the best oil”. The Talmud says, “Your name has an influence on your life” (Ber. 7b). It also says, “Happy is he who grew up with a good name and departed this world with a good name” (Ber. 17a).

    There is no better mark of identity and character than a good and clean name. The Roke’ach says in the 13th century, “No monument gives such glory as an unsullied name”.

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