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Miriams burial


Rabbi David Sperling

Tammuz 13, 5775
The Netziv in chukas brings a Drasha that there is a reason why she’s buried in ???? even though no gezera on her. He doesn’t say the Drasha or bring a reference. Can you give the reference please?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The Netziv (on Bamibar 20,1) refers to a drasha of Chazal as to why Miriam was buried in the desert and not bought to the land of Israel to be buried (Moshe and Aaron both had G-dly decrees on them that prevented them from being buried in Israel – but Miriam did not have such a decree). He is referring to the Talmud in Mo'ed Katan page 27b / 28a which states – AND THE BIER OF WOMEN IS NEVER [SET DOWN IN THE BROADWAY] FOR THE SAKE OF PROPRIETY. Said the Nehardeans "This [Mishnah] was taught only with reference to a woman who died in childbirth, but [that of] other women may be set down [in the broadway]". R. Eleazar says: "[The rule applies] even to other women, as it is written: `And there Miriam died and was buried there`, which shows that her death was close to her [place of] burial". That is to say – the verse mentions Miriam's burial in order to stress that she was buried straight away in the desert, and not bought in to the Land of Israel. The Talmud learns from this that all women should be buried immediately, and not laid out in the street. By the way – there are two very good reference sources you may want to learn about. Firstly, in most Chumashim they print a very small commentary called the Toldot Aaron (or it is printed under the initials – taf, vav, alaph), which lists every place a verse is quoted in the Talmud – allowing you the ability to find everywhere that the Talmud talks directly about a verse. The second source book you may want to look at is called the Torah Tamemah, which is a wonderful Chumash that quotes nearly all the references of Chazal on every verse, and then has a commentary on them, explaining the derivation. Both these sources are in Hebrew – but I assume as you read the Natziv in Hebrew you will be able to use these tools also. I hope this is of some help to you, Blessings.
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