Thursday, June 01, 2023

The Lesson We Learn from Miriam Bas Bilga

The Lubavticher Rebbe: "The Gemara relates that Miriam bas Bilga abandoned Judaism, married a gentile Greek officer and accompanied the Greeks as they stormed the Holy Beis Hamikdash. She then went and pounded the Holy Mizbe'ach with her sandal, crying out: “Wolf, wolf! You consume the Jewish People’s wealth, but you don't answer them in their time of need!” For this latter deed, the Sages punished her entire family. 

Of what significance was pounding the Altar, compared to her apostasy and intermarriage? Herein lies a profound message: It may appear that a Jew is cut off from everything Jewish... But Torah says: No! What you see is only superficial. The fact remains — he is a Jew. And so his every action, concerns G-d A-lmighty Himself. Even in the lowest spiritual abyss — even during the act of the sin itself — the soul is bound to G-d. 

Even after Miriam bas Bilga apostatized, intermarried, and joined the enemy, what was it that bothered her — “Why is the Altar not protecting the Jews?” After all was said and done, she cried out in pain for her fellow Jews. So why does the Gemara tell us this story? Not, G-d forbid, to disparage a Jewess, but to the contrary — to teach us the beauty of a Jew."

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