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Where is Miriam's punishment and mourning?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tammuz 11, 5773
My chavruta and I are studying the parsha of the week, and something that keeps coming up is Miriam. We don’t seem to say much about her, why she was not destined to entire the land and why she was hardly mourned. If you could share some light on these matters, I would be most grateful
Shalom. Just about that entire generation, aside from Joshua and Calev didn’t enter the Land of Israel, so Miriam was included together with everyone else, and it wasn't necessarily a punishment. Similarly, the Ralbag feels that just as Aharon didn’t sin at Mei Meriva, nevertheless he was punished with Moshe, so too regarding Miriam, that there was a general decree (some say even before Mei Meriva, Sefer Birkat Yizchak) towards the three siblings who comprised the “old guard” of leadership, that a new leadership will lead Israel into the Land. R. Neventzahl suggests that Miriam’s slandering Moshe should have served as a lesson to the spies not to slander (Eretz Yisrael). Therefore, even though there’s no comparison between the severity of the two actions, her sin is somewhat similar to theirs, so just as the spies were punished not to enter the Land, so was Miriam. The Talmud (Baba Batra 17a) recounts that Miriam was one of 6 who didn’t die regularly, but were blessed with “a kiss of death”, like Moshe and Aharon, but the Torah doesn’t go into detail of her death, for reasons of modesty (“kissing” a woman has connotations). National mourning for Miriam isn’t mentioned, perhaps because it’s reserved for the few select national leaders. Alternatively, the natural modesty of our mothers brings them to prefer staying out of the limelight, which is considered a great trait, and she (or God) may have accordingly requested to have a more private mourning. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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