Rabbi Frand on Parshas Beha’aloscha
These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 286, Standing For A Sefer Torah.
Miriam’s Act of Patience: Payback Time Comes Years Later
When Miriam the prophetess was afflicted with Tza’raas [a spiritual ‘Leprosy-like’ disease], she was required to remain outside the camp, per the prescribed procedure. During the time, the nation did not proceed on their journey. Picture the scene… There were some 2 million people anxious to travel, but they were told that they could not go. They had to wait until Miriam was healed.
Rashi [Bamidbar 12:15] explains that this was the reward that G-d gave to Miriam for waiting a brief moment to ensure the welfare of her brother Moshe when he was floating in a basket as an infant on the Nile River. This was her payback for standing in the reeds to see what would happen to Moshe. Now the entire Jewish Nation would stand and wait for her.
Why did Miriam receive this reward now? Why was this the appropriate time for the Jews to show their appreciation to Miriam? This was the proper time to show appreciation to Miriam, because this was the time when they were finally able to retroactively understand what her “small” action accomplished. In this week’s parsha, the Torah elaborates about Moshe Rabbeinu. “With him I speak face to face, in a vision not containing allegory, so that he sees a true picture of G-d…” [Bamidbar 12:8]. Moshe’s relationship with G-d was different than the relationship that any other prophet had with G-d.
As a result of this insight regarding Moshe, we have a new appreciation of that which Miriam accomplished. She may have waited for a little baby floating in the Nile. At the time, everyone considered it to be a ‘nice act’. But at the time it seemed like a very small and seemingly inconsequential act. It was only many years later – over 80 years later, that they could understand and truly appreciate that act of patience. Therefore, this was payback time.
We can extrapolate from this incident in the Torah to life in general. While certain events in life are occurring, we often do not have an appreciation of their import and significance. However, often we can look back decades later and say, “That is when it all began” or “That is when it all ended”. Years later, we can point back to a date and a time in history and say, “That is it! That is the red letter date!”
Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman ; Baltimore, MD
This week’s write-up is adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tapes on the weekly Torah portion (# 286). The corresponding halachic portion for this tape is: Standing For A Sefer Torah. The complete list of halachic portions for this parsha from the Commuter Chavrusah Series are:
- Tape # 015 – Reinstituting the Semicha
- Tape # 060 – Waiting Between Meat and Milk: Adults and Children
- Tape # 103 – The Seven Branched Menorah
- Tape # 149 – Bringing the Sefer Torah to a Temporary Minyan
- Tape # 196 – Vegetarianism
- Tape # 242 – Military Service and Potential Halachic Problems
- Tape # 286 – When Do We Stand In Honor of a Sefer Torah
- Tape # 332 – Tefilas Tashlumim: Making Up a Missed Davening
- Tape # 376 – Davening For A Choleh
- Tape # 420 – Fish and Meat
- Tape # 464 – Honoring Levi’im
- Tape # 508 – The City Of Yericho
- Tape # 552 – Kavod Sefer Torah Vs Kavod Talmid Chochom
Tapes or a complete catalogue can be ordered from:
Yad Yechiel Institute
PO Box 511
Owings Mills, MD 21117-0511
Call (410) 358-0416 for further information.
Also Available: Mesorah / Artscroll has published a collection of Rabbi Frand’s essays. The book is entitled:
and is available through your local Hebrew book store or from Project Genesis, 1-410-654-1799.