Talk to the Rock! G-d May Suprise You

by | Apr 27, 2007 | 0 comments

Moshe was grieving for his sister.

In his frustration, He admonished the people, and called them “morim” which has the same letters as Miriam (MRYM), he said: Miriam is dead; how will I ever be able to get water from a rock without her?

Miriam occupied a very special and crucial role amongst the Jewish people. She was always able to find understanding in bitterness and suffering; she was able to find water in a hot, dry stone. It was because of this unique quality that Miriam merited a miracle of the flowing well in the desert. Miriam was named after the bitterness of the times she was born into. (Shmos Rabba 26)

Miriam always managed to sweeten the bitterness. Miriam brought Amram and Yocheved together again. Because of her Moshe was born. She saw light in absolute darkness. When little Moshe was placed in the fierce Nile, Amram was angry, Yocheved cried, but Miriam waited. G-d must have something in mind; we have to wait and see! She always sweetened the bitter waters. Whenever Moshe and Aharon disagreed, Miriam resolved the conflict. She integrated the truth of Moshe with the compassion of Aaron. Miriam always sweetened the bitter waters.

Miriam died. Moshe was upset and worried. Who could replace his dear and beloved sister? Moshe was worried. The well that followed the Jews around in the desert had dried up; there was no water. The thirsty people began to complain. They were after all in a desert! Moshe said, “Shimu na hamorim! Hamin hasela hazeh notzi lachem mayim?” “Hear, you morim (rebels) will we get water from this rock?” He said, “My sister Miriam died; Miriam was able to bring water out of a dry rock. What can I do? Why are you complaining to me?”

This was the cry of Moshe.

Sometimes there’s a person in our lives or in our family who brings everything together, who provides context for separate and even opposite parts. Somehow, through amazing insight, that person can resolve all tensions and hold the whole family in one space. And when that person dies, suddenly everyone becomes separate parts again, and the family doesn’t get together any more. This is what Miriam did in the family of Amram.

Moshe grieved, cried and in his frustration he hit the rock. All he saw was a dry rock in the middle of a huge desert. But, a spectacular miracle took place. Water began to gush forward. Moshe took water from a rock! Moshe did what Miriam used to do. He, too, had the capacity to sweeten water. The Talmud says that the well returned to the people in the merit of Moshe. What was his sin? “You didn’t believe in Me.” (said G-d). Moshe didn’t believe that G-d would give him the strength to be a Miriam; but He did.

We often hear that there is no one to solve our problems and the problems of our people. Who can bring unity to our community? Who can improve the schools in our community? Who can handle the kids at risk? Who can solve the Agunah problem? Who can bring safety and peace to the Middle East? Who can stop Sinas Chinam? The answer is, with G-d’s help, you can .

Talk to the rock! Like Moshe � G-d may surprise you.

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has been a leading force in Jewish community and Jewish education for over forty years. He lived and taught in the United States, Australia and in Israel. He is presently the Rav of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, a vibrant community in the center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel, and serves as the Rabbinic guide to many of its wonderful organisations.


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