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Miriam: Women’s Foresight

By: Other

We first meet Miriam in this week’s parsha, “She stood from afar to see what would happen to him” (Shemot 2:4). When Bat Paroh finds the baby, Miriam brilliantly grabs the opportunity to offer a Jewish woman to nurse baby Moshe. She is worried not only about the physical well-being of her brother, but also the spiritual. Her actions allowed Yocheved to raise her son, even if just for a short period of time. The very first impression Miriam gives is of being able to see past the here and now and instead be concerned with the future.

She is also presented by Chazal as Pu’ah (Shemot Rabbah 1:13), one of the two midwives who showed this same concern about the future of the Jewish people. Risking their lives, they saved the Jewish babies, ensuring the continuity of Am Yisrael.

Furthermore, Chazal teach us the introduction to the story of Moshe Rabeinu. On the words, "Vayelech Ish M'Beit Levi" (Shmos 2:1), the Gemara in Sotah (12:1) describes how Amram left his wife, Yocheved, when the decree was made for all Jewish boys to be thrown into the water. All the other men followed in Amram’s footsteps until Miriam told her father that by separating from his wife he was acting worse than Pharaoh, since Pharaoh wanted to kill the boys but Amram was now destroying all chances for both boys and girls. Pharoah made a decree on this world but Amram’s decree would include the next world as well. We see Miriam as the catalyst for all of the Jewish women in Egypt returning to their husbands which gave way to the birth of Moshe Rabeinu, who we know would later lead the people out of slavery. This act proved the importance of continuing the Jewish people even if the future seemed uncertain and frightening.

The next time we see Miriam take the spotlight is in parshat Beshalach, where she takes a musical instrument in her hands and all the women follow her in song and dance. Many have asked how it is possible that Miriam had drums with her. When did these women have time to think of packing instruments with them as they rushed out of Egypt? At a time when most of the Jewish nation was still unsure of their future, Miriam and the other women took drums with them on this hurried journey out of slavery. After they crossed the Red Sea, Miriam led the women in song, praising Hashem for the wondrous savior. It was with foresight that she believed Hashem would not only bring them to a place of safety but to a place where they would need instruments to sing and dance in order to give proper thanks to Hashem.

Her long range vision of the future is what kept the nation alive and is what brings hope to the broken souls. Miriam teaches us about the power women had back then and the power we still have today. It is the strength to see past the present day terror and look ahead towards the peaceful future. All women possess this strong sense of intuition and foresight which help everyone see the impending redemption. May Hashem bless us all to grab hold of this koach and open our eyes to see the salvation that lies ahead.




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