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Hineni (Here I Am)

Jun 26, 2017

In this week’s Torah portion we learn that Miriam dies She is the sibling of Aaron and Moses. A funny thing happens when Miriam dies; all of a sudden the Israelites are without water. Rabbis of our tradition have long connected Miriam with the water that the Israelites drank and without the water Israelites are in a panic and worried they are going to die of thirst. So Moses prays to God. God tells Moses to assemble the Israelites and go find a rock and order the rock to yield water. God promises Moses that water will come from the rock. But Moses does something a little differently instead he strikes the rock not once but twice out of anger. Copious amounts of water come from the rock. Then God Tells Moses he will not be allowed into the Promised Land Moses has put up with so much why did he strike the rock out of anger. I think Moses is grieving and confronting his own mortality. When people are grieving they may lose sight of their normal emotions and may not act like they normally do and they may be angry. Moses has lost his big sister Miriam, he knows he is about to lose his brother Aaron. The three of them were a team and now he is told he will not enter into the promised land and Israelites keep complaining and will not let him grieve. I’d probably strike a rock, hit a rock instead of speaking to it.