Miriam the prophetess, daughter of Amram and Yocheved, was the older sister of Aaron and Moses. She was born four years before Aaron and seven years before Moses.
On the 10th of Nissan, March 25, the day Miriam left the world 3291 years ago, in Kadesh, at the age of 126, women from all over Israel will travel to Tiberias to honor her life. We will take a boat out on the Kinneret / Sea of Galilee to be close to the “Well of Miriam”, Be’er Miriam in Hebrew. In Miriam’s merit, a well of water accompanied the Jews during their wanderings, provided fresh water in the desert, not only for the people but also for their cattle and sheep. It also made the desert bloom with green pastures and beautifully scented flowers. According to an opinion of the Sages, Miriam’s Well is now in the Sea of Galilee.
Miriam was the leader of the women. While Moses and Aaron held up the Jewish people as a whole, Moses through his teaching of the Torah and Aaron through his service as Kohen Hagadol, Miriam was the exclusive teacher and leader of the women Targum – Micha 6:4. At the age of 86, full of faith and still beautiful, she led the daughters of Israel in song and dance after crossing the Red Sea. Miriam, inspired with the spirit of God, took a tambourine in her hand and led the women dancing and singing. She said to the women “Sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed greatly.
Miriam prophesied when she was six years old, “My mother will have a son who will redeem Israel” (Talmud). She watched over her baby brother Moses for seven days at the Nile, until Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, rescued and adopted him. She made sure their mother Yocheved would nurse him. She saved thousands of male babies. She became the midwife of Israel together with her mother. She married Caleb, her son was Hur and her grandson was Bezalel, the one who built the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the desert.
Miriam used her great gift of music to elevate and encourage the women. She knew they had to prepare their tambourines before the redemption. Kinneret/Sea of Galilee is shaped like a “kinor”, a violin. Her well is there so Am Israel would always have water.
In her honor we will sing and dance with tambourines, violins and drums. We will pray to merit the ultimate redemption, a redemption that is global and absolute. In the future redemption we also hear about a well. The Book of Ezekiel mentions that water will begin to flow from the foundation rock. May it be living, pure, free flowing waters of life.