Parsha question- old age?

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    Why do we make a big deal about Sara Imeinu giving birth at 90 when yocheved gave birth for the first time at over 120 years old? I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere, answers much appreciated.


    since it was a miraculous time for bearing children with sextuplets being commonplace, old age wasnt as impressive either. I think the Maharsha in Sotah says this


    Ibn Ezra (to Gen. 46:27) argues that Yocheved was not in fact born when they entered Egypt, but some time later, so that she bore Moshe at a normal age.

    However, Ramban (ibid. v. 15) sharply disagrees with him (he goes so far as to use the semi-derogatory expression יוצק זהב רותח בפי החכם הזה!), and points out that since (a) Yocheved was the literal daughter of Levi (as per Num. 26:59), (b) 130 years passed from when they came to Egypt until Moshe was born, and (c) Levi was a grown man (in his forties) when they came down to Egypt – then there had to have been some kind of miracle here: either Levi fathered Yocheved, or Yocheved bore Moshe, at a very advanced age.

    So he goes on to distinguish between miracles that Hashem performs (as sort of “standard operating procedure”) to help righteous people or to destroy the wicked, which are not generally described explicitly in Tanach, versus those that are foretold by a prophet or an angel sent by G-d. Sarah’s being able to bear children at 90 – and this, after decades of infertility – is a miracle of the latter type; Yocheved’s bearing Moshe at 130 is of the former, and so it needn’t be described in the Torah.

    catch yourself

    The Ramban discusses this issue in this week’s Parasha. He says that the Torah only reports those Nisim which were predicted prior to the fact by a Navi.


    @ubiquitin thanks!

    but miriam was only a few years older than Moshe, so that wold mean her first birth was post 120 so equally miraculous.

    @catchyourself thanks!


    I remember learning back in my school days (sorry too long ago to remember the source) that the miraculous nature of Moshe’s birth (and by extension also Aharon and MIriam’s) was only hinted to and not mentioned explicitly, in contrast to Sora’s, so that we do not make a mythology/cult worship surrounding Moshe…he was just a baby born to an Ish M’beis Levi who married a Bas Levi, we should not think of him as a wonder-child/supernatural being and turn him into a deity. Even though his birth was far from normal- 3 months premature to a mother who was 130 yrs old, house filled with light, born mahul, did not cry like a newborn…yet still this is not what we should be emphasizing when we think of Moshe Rabbeinu- not that he was some miracle baby/man, but that he was the ultimate Shaliach of Hashem.

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