Due to the merits of MiriamMiriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. As Moses' and Aaron's sister she, according to midrash, prophesies Moses' role and helps secure it by watching over the young baby, seeing to it that Pharaoh's daughter takes him and that the baby is returned to his mother for nursing. During the Israelites' trek through the desert, a magical well given on her behalf travels with the Israelites, providing water, healing, and sustenance., a mysterious well, created on the eveEve, according to the book of Genesis, is Adam's wife, the first woman to be created. of the first Sabbath, accompanied the children of IsraelLit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. in the desert.
It followed her everywhere
like a lover, easing us to rest,
springing from hidden places
in our wanderings.
Always, we were thirsty. Angered
by our wailing, she’d stamp her feet.
Even from the pools of her heelprints
Once in anguish
she beat the rocks with her bare hands
again and again, weeping.
Water gushed, cleansing her blood,
soaking her hair, her robe.
She cupped her hands, rinsed her mouth,
spat; she splashed, she played.
Laughing, we filled our bellies.
She was the one we followed,
who knew each of us by name.
Healing rose from her touch as drink
from the deep, as song from her throat.
She was the well. In our hearts
we called her not Miriam, bitter sea,
but Mayim, water.
From All the Women Followed Her, ed. RebeccaThe second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka. Schwartz (Rikudei Miriam Press, 2001), p. 37. Printed with permission of the editor.