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The Tenth of Nissan

The Tenth of Nissan

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Although the greatness of the tenth of Nissan and the commemoration of the miracles and wonders which occurred on that day were transferred to Shabbat haGadol, as we have already explained, nevertheless some of the importance of the day remains.

Other events which took place on the tenth of Nissan are forever associated with this date.

On the tenth of Nissan, after thirty nine years in the desert the virtuous Miriam died. Her passing deprived Israel of one of the three benefactors who sustained them in the desert: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

Why are these three seen as being benefactors of Israel? Because it was in their merit that Israel was granted three gifts:

the manna in the merit of Moses
the clouds of glory in the merit of Aaron,
and the well in the merit of Miriam.

When Miriam passed away, the waters in the well ceased:"And Miriam died there and was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation... (Numbers, 20:1,2)". The day of Miriam's passing became a fast day for all generations, in memory of this righteous woman.

A year later, the day was again marked by a significant event but this time by a joyous one. On the tenth of Nissan, the Jordan River was divided for Israel and its waters rose up as if they were a wall and as our ancestors emerged from the Jordan to take possession of the Chosen Land, they trod for the first time on the holy soil. Among them were many who had come out of Egypt to whom the decree: "In this wilderness they shall perish (Numbers, 14:35)" did not apply: the entire tribe of Levi, those of all the tribes who were either children or elderly at the time of the decree, and many of the women.

Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov, OBM, was one of Israel's most acclaimed religious authors, whose books on the Jewish way of life and the Chassidic movement have become renowned. Text translated from the Hebrew by Nachman Bulman and Dovid Landseman.
Excerpted from: The Book of Our Heritage. Published and copyright by Feldheim Publications.
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