Contact Us
How Miriam as a five-year-old girl already displayed immense bravery by defying the wicked Pharaoh’s order to help kill the newborn Israelite males.

Miriam, Mother of Rebellion

Miriam, Mother of Rebellion

Lesson 2: Childhood Courage


Miriam, Mother of Rebellion - Part 2: Lesson 2: Childhood Courage

How Miriam as a five-year-old girl already displayed immense bravery by defying the wicked Pharaoh’s order to help kill the newborn Israelite males.
II. Childhood Courage--Commentaries p.6-8, II. Childhood Courage--Text p.4-5
Listen to Audio | Download this MP3
Beshalach, Shemot, Miriam, Jochebed

Bitter was the daily fare of the Jewish slaves in their Egyptian exile. What began as forced labor steadily degenerated into acts of unspeakable brutality and horror, culminating with Pharaoh’s decree to murder all newborn male infants, and his bathing in Jewish children’s blood.

While the physical labor was backbreaking, the moral toll was similarly exacting. The family unit was shattered, wives separated from their husbands, who were forced to remain at their work sites in distant fields. The people were demoralized and depressed, stripped of any vestige of dignity or self-respect. Under the daily terror of the taskmaster’s whip, it seemed useless to hope for a better tomorrow.

The Jewish nation’s hearts had become too dulled, their minds too numbed and their bodies too worn to muster any faith.

One little girl, however, carried in her heart an inextinguishable spark of optimism.

Born into the worst period of servitude, Miriam’s earliest years were formed by the heartbreaking reality of the Jewish exile. Yet despite her tender years, with her valiant strength of character, she confronted the mightiest ruler on earth, audaciously rebuking him for his cruelty to her people.

Risking personal sacrifice, together with her mother, she disregarded Pharaoh’s edict to harm her brethren, and instead gifted them with the necessary tools for their survival.

Thus was formed the indomitable spirit of Miriam, the mother of rebellion.

Related Video
Swayed by Public Opinion?
Don’t Stop Here!
Stop Monkeying Around!

Selected Prose on Courage
Do you live in a fish bowl?
You, the Miracle Worker

Ideas for Discussion
Don’t allow prevalent understandings or perceptions to rob you of your human dignity, vitality and value system.
Chana Weisberg is the editor of She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous Hollywood October 19, 2014

Halacha of Relationships? If Yocheved was the aunt and wife of Amram, it means that Moshe & Miriam were not only brother and sister, they were also cousins. A person is allowed to marry a cousin but not a sibling, correct? If so, then which halacha over-rides the other: the permission to marry or the prohibition from marrying? Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma August 3, 2011

Miriam's Music: Life's bittersweet: Mara I believe the Exodus story is a deep part of all lives, as the metaphoric connects are part of a common story that does deeply reverberate through history.

I do deeply believe that all stories, meaning we have to look at both sides, the Egyptian AND the Jewish side, create the story. As you say, the light and the shadow. We cannot have one, without the other.

I was reading the last words of Anne Frank's diary in which she spoke beautifully about the dark parts of her thoughts, her deepest innermost feeling, the sadness, the clouds. She strove to be positive but it was often hard, and she was deeply aware of that core of inner self, of soul, that did mourn, that did perceive life's inequities, and iniquities, even at her tender age. She was a great soul as was Miriam, Moses' sister.

I know other Miriams and it seems the ones I know embody the qualities you describe here. Do we all, by an alchemy that is deeply about story and what is Divine, relive, in our own way, these stories? Reply

Related Topics