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Why​ Did Miriam Want ​Moshe to Divorce His Wife?

How Important Is Family in Choosing a Spouse? The Rabbi Who Insulted a Convert

1 hr 18 min

Wedding In Jewish Slobodka is a painting by Eduard Gurevich

Class Summary:

This Women's class was presented on Tuesday, ​15 Sivan, 5778, May ​29 , 2018, at Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY

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  • YT

    yisroel t -2 years ago


    hoe would you tell this story to a thoughtful 5 yr old, who dosent get how miryam haniviyah spoke negatevly?

    thank you in advance!

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    • Anonymous -1 year ago

      I guess that she had questions about the shiduch, things she felt were not good for moshe

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  • H

    Hillel -6 years ago

    Gut voch, I just finished listening to your shiur on why Miriam related to Ahron her wanting if Moshe to divorce Tziporah for the 4th time. It was tremendous! Really beautiful!

    I think it would be k’die to be moisif one last idea to your explanation al pi the Moishav Zekainim Mi’balai HaTosfos, in which you explained why Hkb”h said on Moshe, “V’chol bais’e ne’eman” perhaps with that in mind we understand why we wish each chosson and kallah to build a bay is NE’EMAN b’yisrael. Why if all things Ne’eman? With your explanation it’s clear. Each one is not serving G-d’s of others, e.g. what donthe neighbors say about our shidduch. Rather, each one is focused on hkbh and realize that their spouse is THE PATH to Hashem. So that’s the emphasis on Ne’eman. We are believing in Hashem giving me the partner I need to get closer to him, that’s my focus on my partner, not public opinion.

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    • YR

      Yekesiel rosen -1 year ago


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      • Anonymous -1 year ago

        thanks so so much

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  • E

    Ephraim -6 years ago

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

    You mentioned in your previous shiur how it would have been inappropriate for Moshe Rabeinu to divorce tzippora after he ascended to gedula. You mentioned that she stuck with him before his greatness was acknowledged by the masses.  Her character was impeccable despite her yichus. You used this as a springboard to decry those whose requirements for a shidduch is begins with what someone else will think be it yichus, money prestige etc.
    I have a few questions regarding this. 
    1)  the Moshe Rabeinu comparison isn't equal. To ask Moshe Rabeinu to divorce his wife because of yichus is different than not entertaining a shidduch because of a lack of yichus. It may be more comparable to Rabi Akiva and Rochel. 
    We find gedolim in europe married into wealthy families so that they can remain in learning uninterrupted. I hardly doubt that they did our mossad investigations about her character. They didnt call the mechutanim nor did they ask for references. Yet the proposal of the shidduch came about because the gvir wanted to have talmid chacham son-in-law. Isn't there an expression in chazal that one should marry a bas talmid chacham.
    2) there are Torah sanctioned yichus discriminations. I'm a kohen. I'm not allowed to marry a convert, divorcee ... Baalei teshuva of today are not so simple. Despite there not being an accounting for most of klal yisroel this population has more of a rayusa. If the character matters most why am i restricted.
    I know you mentioned that there is place for yichus. When and where? When we categorize people into groups (even though i hate labels being given for sects of jews because it dismisses people as either fanatical or pushes people down to elevate themselves) for shidduchim helps identify similar values. I can't live on boro park because i dont wear a streimal nor can i live in lakewood because i am no longer learning full time. To put myself there would be unfair to myself and my kids. When someone tries to intigrates you can't force your way into a sect of society. I can't join a society who likes high quality wine if i  haven't tasted anything but Moscato dasti. I'm not advocating segregation but to certain extent it helps us identify with each other and share values. When someone tries to force their way in it most likely won't be the results they hoped for.
    Thank you,


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    • Anonymous -6 years ago

      You raise great point and great questions. I will be brief.
      1. Point well taken. I was just using it as a springboard for the conversation.
      2. For the Talmid Chacham learning was critical, hence his search for financial security was in order for him to be able to continue learning for many years. But this was for unique people, who really belonged learning all day and night.
      3. A bas talmid chacham means a woman who grew up with Torah, and values of Torah, and the benefits on character are obvious. In that sense, too, Yichus is wonderful, but mainly because it can tell us about the groom or the bride. This is not meant to shift focus from character to family reputation and prestige. If the groom or bride are not superficial people, that can be terrible. When the marriage is based merely on family and reputation, rather than internal appreciation, respect and love, it can spell a disaster. 
      4. Generally, in past generations, people married very young, they grew up together, and there was very little time to focus on "issues." Life span was short, people worked all day and much of the night, and duty was far more the focus than leisure.
      5. Of course, sensitivity to the community is important to appreciate the values of the groom and the bride. One has to take all factors into consideration: family, community, yeshiva background, reputation, dress, looks. But the main purpose of all of this to figure out the one most important thing: Who is this person inside. Then we can make a sane and a sound decision. The problem is when we just put people in a group, and we do not appreciate their individual quality. 
      Sometimes, if a person comes from a particular community and family, we just focus on that, instead of on his internal personality, values, and behavior. that should never happen. 

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  • N

    Nossy -6 years ago

    Something I was wondering about is how do many midrashim and other sources have different opinions about different stories in the Torah, for example what you were discussing about Moshe and Tzipora, so the differences between Rashi and the Moshav Zekainim, and for example with Asnas, most hold she was Dinas daughter, some hold she was an Egyptian who converted, so Im just wondering how all the differences work unless there was 2 of the same people, Or like Iyov with 9 opinions of who and when he lived.

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    • Anonymous -6 years ago

      See Likkutei Sichos vol. 6, Parshas Terumah, how to approach these types of debates. Of course, in reality only one thing could have happened (at least the way we detect reality, from our perspective.) Yet, we still say that "these and these are the words of the living G-d" (Eiruvin 13b.) Because each view, even if it could not materialize in the most practical way, still contains a truth about the story that exists on some level (perhaps, in thought, emotion, subconscious).
      What is more, see ibid. yet a deeper interpretation, "these and these are the words of the living G-d," ultimately means that they are, deep down, saying the same thing.


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  • L

    Liba -6 years ago

    ​This class

     on “yichus” and giving proper Kovod to converts etc was extremely meaningful and tremendously inspirational.

    I was wondering if there’s any source to something I read many years ago on this topic, that Miriam actually discovered her brothers separation because she saw Tzipora in her tent without cosmetics (make-up)... this message was explained to give women chizuk in the importance and beauty in protecting their homes by beautifying themselves for their husbands at home and that EVEN Moshe Rabbeinu appreciated this...

    Is there any validity to this?

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Women's ​Behaaloscha Class

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 29, 2018
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  • 15 Sivan 5778
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Dedicated in the loving memory of Yeshayahu Yosef, Jesse Cohen​, ben Yacov Leib, in honor of the Yartzeit 12 Sivan

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