Where Every Jew is Family

An Historical Female Hero Gets Recognition!


For a long time, her contribution to society was in the shadows, but now it’s at the forefront!

I’m speaking, of course, about Miriam, Moses’ sister.

The midrash tells us that Amram, Moses’ father, divorced his wife after Pharaoh’s evil decree to kill the baby boys.  He figured, “If that’s going to be the outcome, then why bother having children.”  But five-year-old Miriam convinced her parents that by doing so, and setting such precedent for the Jewish people, that would be the end of ALL the Jews, not just the boys.  She then received a prophecy that they would be the ones to give birth to the redeemer of the Jews.

Her success in getting her parents back together did, in fact, lead to the birth of Moses and the redemption of the Jewish people.

We always make sure to mention this at our seder every year.  There are many other instances of Jewish women in the Egyptian exile paving the way for the salvation of the Jews.  As the Talmud states, “In the merit of the righteous women, our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.’ (Sotah 11b)

Why is this relegated to the oral tradition and not explicitly stated in the Torah or haggadah?
I’m sure there are multiple reasons.

One reason could be for the same reason countries keep details about their nuclear arsenal secret.  You see, the feminine power isn’t authoritarian.  Rather, traditional femininity is covert, yet assertive.  The typical soldier’s weapons may make a lot of noise and traditionally get most of the attention.  But our nuclear weapons, those we keep in a hidden bunker, is where our real bravado comes from.  After all, would we be so confident if we didn’t have such a powerful force backing us up?

The Rebbe taught many times that with the advent of the women’s liberation movement, we can see it’s time for these ideas to come out into the fore.  A sort of “nuclear fallout.”

So bring out the big guns and celebrate the woman’s role in Passover!

~Rabbi Yossi

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