GrowTorah Core Value: Incubating Emunah
When Miriam dies in the desert, Bnei Israel complains again, several times, about their lack of water. The first time Moses strikes the rock, the second time Hashem sends serpents against them. What can we learn from this progression of complaints? How can we show gratitude for the water in our gardens?
Lesson Title: Water in the Desert
What details of the story stick out to you?
How do each of the characters relate to the nature around them? Bnei Israel, Moshe, Hashem?
- Bnei Israel takes nature for granted, complains about its lack, Moshe makes demands from it, and Hashem wants to coax it, to speak to it and trust it to provide
How do these Midrashim add to our picture of Bnei Israel's life in the desert?
- Highlight and exaggerates the miraculous abundance that Hashem provided for them – he even made it so that fruit trees could grow in the desert, etc.
How does this story compare and contrast to the first?
- Israelites complain about water again, miraculous intercession. But here it is to punish them and not to provide for them. The complaint itself is slightly different: they loathe the food they have instead of longing for what they lack
What role does song play here, especially in light of the two earlier stories?
- The song finally shows gratitude, and joy in what Hashem provides. The song itself requires a blessing before and afterwards, elevating its praise even more.
How does the Or HaChayim change our understanding of the song?
- Shifts it from the literal towards the figurative – water is Torah.
How can we incorporate gratitude and joy into our garden, and our relationship with water, Torah and Hashem?