Jewish Women’s Society Programs

Dear sisters,

Join me for this fun upcoming virtual class in January:

Monday, January 27th  8:00 pm   Pre-Tu B’Shevat Class.  More details will be sent shortly.
Zoom.us/j/9699246316   Dial in:  1-312-626-6799

All the best,

Mimi

For more information about The Jewish Women’s Society of St. Louis, contact Mimi David at mimidavid@aish.com

 

A Shabbat Message from Mimi… January/9/2021 Tevet/25/5781

Dear Sisters,

There is a verse in this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Sh’mos, that I believe is so powerful and motivating. The Torah tells us the whole story of baby Moshe in the basket.  Because of Egyptian policy, all Jewish baby boys were to be killed, so Moshe’s mother, Yocheved, placed him in a waterproof basket and sent his sister, Miriam, with it to the Nile. The Torah says, “His sister stationed herself at a distance to know what would be done with him.”  Miriam placed the basket with her baby brother in it into the Nile, and then she hid among the reeds and watched what happened to the baby.
Fast forward a few years to the time the Jews were traveling through the desert. After a short while of traveling, the inevitable happened and the Jews ran out of water.  Moshe is told to hit a rock, and that rock transforms into a wellspring of water.  This well was no ordinary water source.  The Medrash tells us that it was a giant boulder, with holes all over it to the point that it resembled a sieve.  Every time the Jews camped in the desert the rock would camp as well, settling somewhere in the middle of the camp.  Then Moshe would come and draw grooves in the sand with his staff, from the rock to the camp of each tribe.  After tracing 12 grooves, one to each tribe, water would begin to flow from the rock, filling up the grooves.  So much water would flow, that eventually the grooves became major rivers, and the Torah says one could ride a boat along the water!
Why am I sharing this with you?  Because our Sages tell us that the well that we had for 40 years in the desert was a gift to the Jews in the merit of Miriam.  What did she do to deserve such an incredible merit?  She waited at the water to see what would happen to her baby brother Moshe, and, in reward, she provided water for the Jews for 40 years.
Think about that for a minute, because it is a mind-blowing idea.  Miriam waited at the water to see what would happen to her baby brother.  She did something completely normal; any big sister would be worried and want to make sure her baby brother was safe!  (I know some teenage girls who would be thrilled if Egyptians came along and relieved them of their sibling, but even they would not want that to happen to a new baby!)  So Miriam does an act which is totally normal and expected in those circumstances; basically, she does something ordinary!  And her reward is outrageous — 40 years of miraculous water for the entire Jewish people.
Bottom line is this: We have no clue, literally no idea, how powerful our actions can be.  We can do something that we think is no big deal, anyone would do the same, and the ripples it creates can affect generations.  We can make a choice that is so simple it is almost mindless, and it has the power to bring blessing to an entire community.  We have no idea how important even a seemingly insignificant act can be.
This idea reminds me of the famous poem by James Foley:

“Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy a-circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.”

― James W. Foley

Let us take time this Shabbos to appreciate the smaller, easier things we do.  We have no idea how much goodness we are creating when we do them.
Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Mimi David

PS —  Join us for this upcoming class:  

Wednesday, February 3rd, 7:30 pm   Challah Club Meeting — Aish Firehouse.  Social distancing in place, RSVP to mimidavid@aish.com and masks required.  Please remember to bring your trays so you can easily carry home your challah.

All the best,

Mimi

For more information about The Jewish Women’s Society of St. Louis, contact Mimi David at mimidavid@aish.com