Illustration: "Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law"By Gustave Do're Well, according to the Orthodox Rabbinout in Israel, the answer is: “Definitely not”.
This should come as no real surprise because, according to the exact same rabbinout, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons were not Jewish either.
“But wait”, you say, “don't the rabbis teach that Moses was the first Jew?” (i.e. no one is arguing that the rabbis teach that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not Jews).
Well, the rabbis may “teach” that Moses was the first Jew, but: Do they really believe it? Sadly, the incontrovertible truth is: “no”.
Let's just take the “Haggadah” for example, shall we? The written Torah states that each year we must teach the story of Passover to our children. In almost every Haggadah now used by Jewish communities around the world, regardless of their denomination, Moses is only mentioned once and that is just a brief reference in the middle of a prayer.
Let's say that God commanded his people to tell the story of Apple Computer once a year. If you were commanded to tell the story of Apple Computer, would you mention Steve Jobs only once? And then, only as a mere reference in some minor episode of the story?
On their website, the Chabad Movement claims that the rabbis don't mention Moses in the Haggadah because Moses was some sort of “superhuman” being who it is impossible to emulate Hence it is better to supply the children with more “down to earth” type role models like Rabbi Akiva or the Rambam; even though they had absolutely nothing to do with the story of Passover. By the way, the rabbis also decided that it was better not to mention the original 70 teachers of the oral law who sided with the 10 dis-honest spies against Moses and were responsible for that entire generation of “Jews” to perish while wandering around in the desert for forty years (Perhaps because it reminded them of an entire generation of Polish orthodox Jews who died in the death camps because they lined up against Herzl, Jabotinsky and the other “Zionists” and listened to their teachers of the Oral Law instead (Isn't it strange that they ALL were arguing about whether or not to come live in the Promised Land? Well, some things never change.....)But, then again, in all fairness: Who would want to come to a land promised to a bunch of gentiles ???!!!
But really, Moses was a “superman”? Moses the stutterer who did not want to return to Egypt? Moses who was in constant fear that the people wanted to stone him? Moses who was not allowed to enter the Promised Man because he acceded to the demands of the people and provided them with water? Moses who is described by God as being a very humble man, this is a: "superman”?
Regardless, let's just look at any convert to Judaism. According to the rabbis, a convert must be familiar with the traditions of the Jewish people. Moses, Abraham, Isaac, etc., etc....were not. A convert must know a little bit about the Talmud and the oral law. Moses, Abraham, Isaac, etc., etc, did not. But, most important of all, as any Ethiopian will tell you, a convert must accept rabbinical authority.
Since the first teachers of the oral law were the mere assistants of Moses, then he hardly could have been expected to accept their authority. In fact, if any decision was deemed too difficult for them then they were to come to Moses and he would make the final ruling. But, even more than this, the first teachers of the oral law, according to Moses, were not even the final authorities after Moses would die. The priests were the final authority, not the teachers of the oral law (i.e. the judges).
So, to sum up: Moses is not aware of modern traditions, Moses did not study even a little bit of the Talmud, Moses did not acknowledge or accept rabbinical authority. All that together with his two gentile wives.....
Well, it's clear: Moses was NOT a Jew.... Perhaps that is the reason in the depiction of him above he is not dressed like a penguin......