This week’s Parasha includes the infamous story of Miriam speaking lashon harah against her brother Moses. What was the reason Moses “…married that Cushite woman?” Bamidbar 12:1-3. Where was the benefit of the doubt? Where was the private conversation? Miriam is punished with leprosy. Moses famously utters the first prayer of healing “El Na, Refah Na Lah” –“Please God, Heal Her.” Bamidbar 12:13. God does heal her, but Miriam is still shut out of the camp for 7 days as punishment.
Doesn’t that sound like when the kids are fighting, Dad (or Mom) sends the instigator to their room! Doesn’t that sound like even though the kids are fighting, they don’t really want their sibling to be punished? But the parent punishes anyway.
Well, we are not the only ones who see the similarity. In fact, the Rabbi’s teach that when Miriam speaks lashon harah against Moses, it disappointed God as a Parent because these particular children, who God holds so dear, were fighting amongst themselves. God even uses the example of a father punishing a daughter to explain to Moses the reason for the punishment. Bamidbar 12:14.
It is a demonstration of God’s love for us that God is pained when we inflict pain upon any of His creations. We are told that in disrespecting or speaking ill of others, we are disrespecting God. I am sure nobody ever intends that!
This Shabbat we learn with Rabbi Rachel Shere sharing the wisdom and genius of the Torah. 9:45 a.m. Come as you are. Stay as long as you like. We end in time for the Rabbi’s Sermon. In honor of his son’s bar mitzvah, Rabbi Joey Krakoff will be giving the Sermon this Shabbat.
P.S. Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Arnie Eisen will be Adat Shalom’s SYNergy Weekend Scholar June 12-13. Make your dinner reservation now! This is the link to the program flyer. Though the weekend, he will be speaking about “Raising the Spirits of American Jews”, delivering the sermon Shabbat morning in lieu of our Torah Study on the topic “Jews in the Wilderness” and speaking after a deluxe Kiddush on “Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow.” Do not miss any part of it!