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Wednesday, 22 Sivan, 5781

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Miriam, the elder sister of Moses and Aaron, was afflicted with tzaraat (leprosy) after speaking negatively of Moses, and was quarantined outside of the camp for seven days--as related in Numbers 12

The Biblical account (with Rashi's commentary)
About Miriam
About Lashon Hara (negative speech)

Daily Thought

The great men who spied out the Land of Canaan returned and reported:

“We cannot go. They are stronger than us.”

But the subliminal truth was that they never really wanted to leave the spiritual high of the desert for a life of tilling soil and building homes.

If they had only asked Moses, he would have explained to them:

“This experience now is only the chrysalis, the protected stage before a butterfly takes flight. In the land, you will spread your wings.”

“From within these clouds you can perceive great light. There, in that earth, stone and clay, you will hold raw truth in your hands.”

And so today, to each of us Moses says:

Do not be afraid to emerge from your protective spiritual cocoon and enter that monstrous, formidable world.

As much as you can attain in your studies, even in deep contemplation and intense prayer, it will never come close to the wisdom that will open itself to you in your mission to build a home, give life, learn Torah, do mitzvahs, and lend a hand to others in a hostile universe.

Your eyes will see that which no book could tell, your heart will feel that which no thought could imagine.

In the joy that comes out of pain, in the sweetness that emerges from bitter suffering, this world will carry you to a place beyond anything your soul could otherwise have known.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 4, pp. 1041, and in numerous other talks.