A Call to the Nations to Remember Miriam (Moses’ sister)

The following personal essay was submitted to the asknoah.org web site by a Bas Noach. She wishes to share her thoughts with our visitors.

by Julie V., January 20’21

When I see riots, civil unrest and anarchy, I contemplate the current events from a Torah perspective. I look to those whom G-d appointed to be lights onto the nations, as well as the lessons from those who missed the mark, and the solutions are instantly revealed. For all who feel frustrated by the climate of confusion in these difficult times, the following thoughts are for you!

In ancient Egypt, when injustice was being perpetrated by Pharaoh, the Jewish people didn’t storm the palace. They worked, they prayed, they lifted each other up and kept hope alive! This wasn’t easy for everyone, however. They were infuriated by a dictator who was as stubborn and fearless as he was vile. The Pharaoh’s evil intentions dripped out publicly for all to see, and nobody trusted him.

An attempted breakout that failed

The Midrash relates that Yagnon of Ephraim decided he had enough of Pharaoh and slavery. He decided that he would take matters into his own hands and strong-arm his way out. (Many people today are thinking of doing the same thing.) He armed himself and rallied a group of Ephraimite followers who supported him. They thought he’d be able to fight his way out of oppression.

The wise ones of his tribe would not listen, for they said, “If Yagnon truly believes that G‑d promised our forefathers the Land of Canaan, then why does he not also believe that G‑d will free His people and give us our land when He judges it to be the right time?” Yagnon had momentary victory but soon failed horribly. His group made it out of Egypt by force, but was soon overcome in a subsequent battle with the Canaanites who barred their entry. Only a few survivors – Yagnon not included – made it out alive. Defeated, they fled BACK to Egypt with their heads low.

The faith and trust of Miriam

Contrast this with the approach of the prophetess Miriam (Exodus 15:20-21). Even before the Red Sea finally split and the gates to freedom opened, Miriam already had a tambourine in her hand, ready to lead the righteous Israelite women in a song of thanksgiving. This means she fled Egypt with the trust that there would be a victory over the Egyptians who had drowned Israelite infant boys in the Nile river-god.

For Miriam, it was already the reality that such a victory was inevitable, because G-d deals with His enemies measure-for-measure at the time that He chooses. When Miriam arrived to the other side, finally FREE and seeing the bodies of the Egyptian pursuers tossed up by the waves onto the shore, she was praise-ready with her tambourine.

This is a timeless lesson. When you see there is injustice, remember that the True Judge WILL prevail. Don’t loose your focus. As an invaluable Noahide in today’s world, be tambourine-ready with your faith, and be assured that justice will prevail!

What’s also interesting is that the rattle of the tambourine scares away snakes. Speaking your faith, your positive bias, and your trust in G-d can be your tambourine that will keep the metaphorical snake at bay. THIS is how lasting redemption through justice is truly achieved. Don’t learn the hard way like Yagnon of Ephraim who didn’t make it there, and didn’t make it back. Remember Miriam and her steadfastness. G-d is in control. #Trust