Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lips In The Hills

"והאיש משה ענו מאד מכל האדם אשר על פני האדמה" “And the Man Moses is much humbler than any man on the face of earth” – Is this a continuation of Miriam’s words, or an independent statement? If it is an independent statement, how does it fit in here? Presumably Moshe didn’t hear Miriam’s words, hence his silence cannot stem from his humility. If these are Miriam’s words, what do they mean? Almost invariably, “על אדות” means on behalf. According to Rashi, Miriam spoke on behalf of Tzipporah, believing that Moshe, in his great humility, was always prepared for his Master’s word, yet due to this neglected the fulfillment of his familial obligations.
But she did not clarify the matter with Moshe himself first, and seemingly that was her sin.

Previously, the posuk tells about Moshe Rabeinu correcting Yehoshua for his misplaced zealotry; why imprison Eldad and Meidad for prophesizing? On the contrary, Moshe was happy that the Divine Word has now two additional channels for the people! Maybe the harsh sentence came on the heel of Yehoshua’s misplaced zealotry on Moshe’s behalf - which Miriam failed to heed.

Recently, it became extremely fashionable not only to bash current day rabbis, but even our most respected ancestors. As a pretext, the failures of great men are brought up, many a time presented in an absolutely derogatory and distasteful manner. And those who know and remain silent are accomplices in this odious trend. Notice how quickly Der Führer of the J-hatosphere, Dov Bear, shed his dear feminism, and picked up midrashim –which he otherwise loves to ridicule- to denigrate Moshe rabeinu, Miriam and Aharon. I bet he’d never dare talking in this fashion about his beloved role models MLK, OJ Simpson, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Jessie Jackson, Sonny Carson and Al Sharpton. Oh, but I’m not allowed to say that - that’s racism! Oy-vey, I’m getting tsora’as tomorrow!

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