Chapter 20 in this week’s Torah portion tells us of the passing on of the righteous woman Miriam, older sister of Moshe. After the Parsha tells us of her death, it then says, “vloh haya lahem mayim – there was no water.” That was it. Miriam dies and the water stops.
All those years in the desert, the water came about because of the merit of Miriam, but she was so humble that no one realized it. They took the water for granted and never once did anyone realize that it must be coming, this cascading munificence of thirst-quenching water, due to something. They just accepted it. And Miriam, she kept mum, never once saying, “folks, you have me to thank for slaking your thirst.”
Miriam’s merit to bring water to the Jewish people was that way back when in Egypt, when she was but a young girl, she had waited by water to ensure the welfare of her baby brother, Moshe, who was hidden in the water. Since G-d rewards with the same measure as the deed done, since her kindness was done by water, it was water that was given in her merit.
The power of a woman – to bring all good into the home, without a need for recognition – that is what we learn from Miriam. Oft times it looks glamorous to be out and running to do kindness for every stranger, to be the soap-box orator urging the world to better itself. Yet, what G-d treasures and rewards are those unglamorous, often overlooked, kindness we do within our own homes and families.
Never underestimate how valuable to G-d are the things you do for family.
interesting info on Miriam’s Well can be read about here: