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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Parshas Behaaloscha 2000

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

The Jewish people were ready to move. They were on their way to Eretz Yisroel. Miriam couldn’t move. Miriam became ill with Tzoraas and had to be in quarantine for seven days. Three million people were ready but one Miriam was not. Should three million people wait for Miriam to be ready to travel? The leadership of Israel discussed it and decided that the people of Israel would wait. Miriam was worth it. They remembered back when Miriam placed her brother Moshe in a basket on the Nile and then waited to see what would be with him. Miriam waited for Moshe, we wait for Miriam.

Miriam took her brother, wrapped him up in a blanket and placed him at the mercy of the currant and the waves and waited. Who wouldn’t wait? Isn’t it natural to wait at the shore to see what will happen to your brother? As a matter of fact, why was she the only one there who waited? Where were Amram and Yocheved? Weren’t they concerned and curious about their infant son?

Let’s look at the history of this event. Because of the Egyptian policy Amram and Yocheved decided not to have any more children. Often in history Jewish parents had to question the wisdom of bringing another child in to this world. The young Miriam was unhappy with her parent’s decision. She began to lobby her parents not to separate and to have more children in spite of Pharaoh. ‘Why fulfill Pharaoh’s dream of no more Jewish children?” They listened to their daughter and Moshe was born. Amram, Yocheved and Miriam watched in awe as the whole room filled with light.  Amram reached over to his daughter and kissed her on theforehead, “Your prophecy has been fulfilled!” he told her, “this child is definitely the savior of Israel.”

Then the agents of Egypt came searching for the new child to throw him into the Nile. Yocheved and Amram could hide Moshe no longer. So Miriam wrapped up her prophecy, wrapped up the light and placed Moshe in the Nile at the mercy of the tide. Amram and Yocheved said a final goodbye to their brief joy. Amram reached over to his daughter and slapped her on the hand. “So much for your prophecy!” Their hope of freedom had come and gone. It was a false high. Hope was gone for everyone except Miriam. Miriam continued to wait and to watch. She held on to her vision and wouldn’t give up. She understood that G-d does not always do things according to the way we feel they should be done. He does it His way and His way surpasses all dreams. For that vision, for that valuable lesson the Jewish people owed it to Miriam to wait. Out of respect they delayed their journey for seven days until they were ready to go.

G-d does not always do things according to the way we feel they should be done. He does it His way and His way surpasses all dreams. We all have our ideas as to how things ought to happen. We have faith that Hashem will help us but we are the experts on how our parnossa should arrive, how our health should go and when Moshiach should come. When it doesn’t happen the way we expected it to happen we give up on G-d, we lose our vision. Remember the vision Jews had at the founding of the State of Israel or at the reclaiming of the Jerusalem. “Hayinu kcholmim -we were like dreamers.” Are those dreams still alive? When we negotiate Har Hazaysim is our vision still alive?

It was Miriam who taught us how a vision must be interlaced with patience. Miriam taught us that we must stick to our vision even in the face of adversity. Miriam kept her vision alive and her vision kept the Jewish people alive for millennia. Even when life seems to be going backward we realize that G-d runs the world His way - and His way works.

Today we have the honor of two chatanim in Shul. Choson Torah, Chaim who is just ending his years as a bochur and Choson Breishis who has just begun a beautiful life together with a wife who is adored by all. The most important thing a choson and kallah can do together is to create a vision. Dream for a moment about the home you will have, the family you will raise and the lifestyle you will lead. People without a vision are blind men groping in darkness. Without direction and purpose every day becomes a struggle. Yet life with a vision is inspired and so powerful that virtually nothing can get in its way. I wish you all a beautiful life of peace and happiness. Stick to your vision and you will be blessed with a Bayis neeman B’Yisroel.

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