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Miriam's Moment: A Single Gesture Toward an Infant Reverberated through History

What's the Big Deal that they Waited for Miriam 7 Days? Should They Have Allowed an Old Woman to Die in the Desert?

Class Summary:

This text based class, in Likkutei Sichos Behaaloscha Volume 18, explores a comment by Rashi linking a gesture of a little girl to a national event 81 years later. When the three-month old Moses lay floating in a basket on the riverbank, where his mother placed him to avoid the decree of the Pharaoh that all make Jewish children must be taken from their parents bosom and drowned, was watched by his seven-year-old sister, Miriam. That is when Batya, Pharaoh’s daughter, came along and rescued the infant who would not stop crying, craving some milk. It was little Miriam who “negotiated” the deal to allow little Moses to be nursed and calmed by his own real mother.

We may never know the full impact that Miriam’s gentle watch had on Moses’ great life. But one thing we know: 81 years later this moment would once again come back in the life of Miriam and Moshe, this time the other way around. Moses, and 3 million Jews, will stand there seven days, waiting for Miriam.

Please leave your comment below!

  • O

    Optional -10 months ago

    Return to his mother

    Thank you Rav YY on this gevaldlig shiur.

    Question: isn't the greater achievement of Miriam's intervention that she returned him to his mother? Otherwise he may have ended up with any random Jewish woman.

    Isn't that bigger than a few moments of discomfort waiting to be nursed?

    Also it seems the Rebbe is learning that Basya had mercy on the boy means that since he was crying she wanted to soothe him through nursing (p. 138 of the sicha). Or perhaps the Rebbe is citing the verse poetically?

    It would be very different than the meforshim who learn that the mercy was about saving his life. Is the Rebbe learning that that's how Rashi would explain it? Rashi is silent on those words.

    (It would seem to fit well with Rashi. Rashi does not comment on vatachmoil to explain why or what. Nor does he comment how she knew he was Jewish. All we have from Rashi is that she tried to have him nursed but failed. Could it be that that's how she knew he was Jewish? I.e., She said "This is a Hebrew baby" after she tried to have him nursed from Egyptians and he refused?)

    On the matter of expediting his nursing, it is interesting also to note the Alshich who notes that even though Basya told Yocheved to take the baby home and only then nurse him, Yocheved nursed him right away out of her great love for her child.

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    • YJ

      YY Jacobson -10 months ago

      1. Of course the fact that Mirian United moshe with his mother is incredible. And she was rewarded for that. 
      but the discussion here is on one aspect. The Jews waited for Mirian because Mirian waited for moshe. What is the mida keneged midah? That they both were avoided discomfort. 
      the fact that she did other things -- of course that was rewarded too. But here we are addressing one aspect in this story: by the waiting there and intervening she saved moshe from the anguish of hunger pangs.
      2. Yes this seems to be according to Rashi. 
      3. I think this is included in Batya compassion. 

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      • Anonymous -10 months ago

        Thank you very much

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  • N

    null -2 years ago

    ♥️😍😍 @43:40  when 1st driving home the point that even the good we do comes from Above (not really through our avoda)... (one of the deep, deep enigmatic ideas about judaism and life!),.. One of the audience in the class is heard (rightfully so!) saying, "what the hell?!?"... ☺️☺️😎😎😅😅

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  • Y

    Yerachmiel -6 years ago

    YY - here is the link to the full text of the story as I sent it around 9 years ago. (You'll notice that Yoni & Yair are not their real names.) At the end is the source credit for where I found it.

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Likkutei Sichos Behaaloscha/Tazria

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 31, 2015
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  • 13 Sivan 5775
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