Friday, June 06, 2008

Miriam's Steadfastness

It is written: Miriam the prophetess, sister of Aaron, took (her drum in her hand). The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Sotah 13a) asks: Was she the sister of Aaron, but not the sister of Moshe? Rav Amram said in the name of Rav, and others say that it was Rav Nachman in the name of Rav: This teaches us that Miriam was saying prophecy while she was only the sister of Aaron (before Moshe was born), and she said, “In the future, my mother will be giving birth to a son, who will save Klal Yisroel.” And once Moshe was born, the entire house became filled with light. Her father stood up and kissed her on her head. He said, “My daughter, your prophecy has been fulfilled.” But when Moshe was thrown into the water, he said to her, “My daughter, where has your prophecy gone?” And that is what’s written: His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen with him. She wanted to know what would happen with her prophecy.

It was through this that Miriam merited that the entire Jewish people waited for her for seven days.

The commentators ask: What was so significant about waiting around to see how the matter would resolve itself? Wouldn’t any curious person wait around to see what might transpire?

Another question is asked: Why didn’t Yocheved, Moshe’s mother wait there as well to see what would happen with the prophecy?

Reb Meir Bergman writes that even with greatness of Yocheved, her faith in Hashem and her fear of God, at the time that Moshe was cast into the river; she thought that Moshe would certainly die there. This is why the Medrash says that Yocheved, after Moshe was thrown into the river, also asked Miriam, “where is your prophecy now?” According to the natural law, Moshe would not be saved and the river was destined to be his end. As a matter of fact, it took an unusual miracle for Moshe to be saved.

Miriam, on the other hand, was strong in her beliefs and she refused to budge. She received a prophecy that Moshe would be the savior of the Jewish people, and although the odds were not favorable, she knew that somehow, he would survive.

This is why she was rewarded so greatly. She was steadfast in her belief in Hashem that nothing could sway her.