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Parshat Beha’alotcha: Don’t Try Walking in My Shoes

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“They said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moshe? Has He not spoken through us as well?’ And the Lord heard” (Bamidbar 12,2).

It’s been a long time since we read about a good old-fashioned family feud. From the time we left Yosef and his brothers at the end of the Book of Bereishit, the lens of the Torah has been focused on Am Yisrael as a nation, not necessarily as a family. But here at the end of this week’s parsha, a feud so difficult erupts between Miriam and Aharon and their younger brother Moshe that even God decides to intervene.

Here is the backdrop to the story. Moshe is no longer living in the tent with his wife Tzipora, but rather lives exclusively in the Tent of Meeting, where he communes with God. Miriam approaches her brother Aharon with a harsh criticism of Moshe; why has he abandoned his wife Tzipora? His service to the nation should not inhibit his responsibilities to his family! And here is the crucial point of the criticism:

“Has the Lord spoken only through Moshe? Has He not spoken through us as well?” (Bamidbar 12,2).

We too are prophets, insists Miriam, yet we have not left our spouses. We also serve central roles in the community, yet we have not abandoned our families.

Even though the........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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