So Miriam was shut outside the camp for seven days and the people did not march on until Miriam had been gathered-back. Only afterward did the people march on... (Numbers 12:15-16).
In this Parasha, we are confronted with a sibling conflict between Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. After Moses had taken his Cushite wife, Miriam and Aaron confront him, asking if he is the only one that G-d speaks to. After hearing of Miriam and Aaron’s complaint, G-d meets them in the Tent of Meeting to take them to task. Miriam leaves with leprosy. This causes Moses great pain, who pleads with God to return Miriam to the tribe. His pain is evident, as he cries out to G-d. After seven days, Miriam returns.
Sometimes, in argument, we have a tendency to not recognize the pain we cause others until it is too late. This can be all too easy with the people who are closest in our lives - as this experience shows. While Moses and Miriam had to be separated for seven days, we are fortunate enough to learn from their experience.
Who in your life have you hurt with words and cast away? In what ways can you work to repair that relationship this week?
May be all find the time this week to restore our closest relationships - and have the patience and love to do so before our loved ones feel cast aside.
Rob France is Assistant Director at Penn State Hillel.