DON MORRISON Editor, TIME AsiaIf you're like most people, you spend your days mired in the mundane tasks of work and family, getting and spending. Not much time to think about the meaning of it all. And yet you probably have a spiritual side, a yearning for the things that give life purpose. From its very first issue, in 1923, Time has covered religion. We've always seen it as a worthy object of journalistic scrutiny, like politics, business or science. And so this week we examine the life of one of history's great religious figures--and one of the few who transcend individual faiths. Jews see him as the Moshe Rabbenu, the bringer of the Torah law, says senior writer David Van Biema. Muslims as a precursor and predictor of the prophet Mohammed. Christians as the moral paragon of the Ten Commandments, the man who led the Children out of Egypt. In his cover story, Van Biema looks at the Moses of both myth and fact. Not all religions are concerned about the matters of historicity that we deal with in our story, he says. But all have a certain amount invested in the idea the Moses is someone who lived, in Egypt and then in the Sinai, in the 13th century B.C. Believers may find the new historical evidence reassuring, but sometimes facts can be alarming. In a remarkable piece of investigative reporting, correspondent Sam Gwynne this week delves into the growing business of private banking. He finds a secret realm of money laundering, tax evasion and other questionable practices beyond the reach of regulators. Gwynne is adept at plumbing such secrets. His first book, Selling Money, chronicled his six years as a loan officer for U.S. banks ladling out cash in the Third World. The second, The Outlaw Bank, with former Time correspondent Jonathan Beaty, tore the lid off one of the decade's most notorious private financial institutions, the Bank of Commerce and Credit International. The high point of my reporting for this story was a trip to Geneva, where I interviewed a number of Swiss private bankers, he recalls. As an international banker, I had visited Switzerland many times, making loans, keeping up relationships with clients. Now I was back as a journalist. But this time I got to see the inside of the private banking system, the deep, dark Swiss banking you've always heard about. Thus do we try, in a single issue, to serve both God and mammon. Moses, a practical man with a spiritual side, would certainly understand.