Good Morning Everybody,
In this week’s Torah portion Moses’ older sister, the great Miriam, passes away. With her passing, the Midrash (Yalkut Shemoni) teaches us that Hashem made the miraculous rock which provided water for everybody in the desert suddenly (and temporarily) disappear. Why would Hashem do this? The Midrash says that this would cause everyone to realize that their water supply had been provided in Miriam’s merit this whole time. Until her death, no one realized this! And I think it’s safe to assume Miriam didn’t know either!
Let’s think about this for a second. Miriam went about her life, business as usual, totally unaware that the water source that sustained every Jewish man, woman and child for 40 years was in HER merit!
What an incredible and uplifting lesson for us! We go about our day, sometimes wondering if we’re really making a difference. We do our best, we try to grow, we sacrifice, we do our thing, but ya know… we sometimes can’t help but wonder, am I really advancing the ball? Is this going anywhere?… But this Midrash is teaching us that we have NO IDEA how GIGANTIC some of our actions may be… how “unfathomably significant” they are to Hashem! The things we don’t even think twice about could have unbelievable ramifications!
The Zohar says that Miriam’s merit was connected to an event that happened many years before — it was when Miriam watched to see what would happen to her little baby brother Moses when he was placed in a basket and set afloat on the Nile. The Midrash Rabbah, on the other hand, connects Miriam’s merit to the jubilant praise she expressed after the splitting of the sea. One of these was an act of love and concern demonstrated when Miriam was just a little girl; the other a show of tremendous gratitude to Hashem when she was in her 80’s! We have no idea when Hashem “grabs on to” one of our deeds and says, “YES! That’s what you or your family or your community or the entire Jewish people needed right now!”
What a powerful teaching from the Torah! Hopefully it will give us strength and energize us to keep powering-on b’simcha (with joy).
May we all go forward today bearing in mind that every one of our mitzvos, kindnesses, prayers and “rebuilding moments” really do make a difference. And G-d willing, after 120 years when we leave this world, we’ll discover, just like Miriam did, that some of our smallest acts were truly extraordinary.
Have a super meaningful day everybody,
Keep on Building!