- Torah Portion and Tanach
Our Sedra references Tzipora, Moshe’s wife, & twice refers to her as a "Cushite." Altho Cush is widely regarded as Ethiopia, Tzipora, as the daughter of Yitro, was a Midianite. Rashi & others say that calling her "black" was a way of indicating her striking beauty, i.e. she "stood out" just as black stands out from white. Indeed, the gematria of Cushite is "y’fat mar’eh," beautiful. In Tehilim 7, David mentions "Cush ben Y’mini;" Rashi says this refers to King Shaul, who also had exceptional qualities (tho others interpret this negatively). Tzipora also means "bird" & the Midrash says that just as a bird offering purifies leprosy, so Tzipora purified her father’s home of idols. Yalkut Shimoni tells that Yitro threw Moshe in a pit when he learned that he was fleeing from Paro (Yitro was an advisor to Paro). Tzipora took pity on Moshe & secretly fed him for 10 years until Yitro relented & allowed his daughter to marry Moshe. She would later save his life again when she gave their son a brit.