The Daily Chizzuk of our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a — “Every woman can be like Queen Esther and Devorah the Prophetess”
Sunday, 19 Av 5783
These are his holy words:
It is written in Sefer Bamidbar that no woman was in any sin, not the sin of the Calf, and not the rest of the sins in the desert. The woman is not a sinner. The man is the sinner. If the man does not cause her to sin, she will never sin.
Rashi says on the verse (Bamidbar 26:64) “And among these, there was no man…,” [that] upon the men was the decree of death in the desert, but on the women the decree of the spies was not decreed, since the Land was beloved to them. The men said, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt,” and the women said, “Give us a portion” [in the Land].
What is “There was no man”?
The men were not saved from the decree of the spies, but the decree of the spies was not decreed on the women. All the women lived. No woman died! There was no such thing that a woman would die!
The men said every moment about every minor mishaps, “Let us appoint a leader and return” (ibid 14:4). There’s no water — let’s return to Egypt. No garlic… Suddenly they don’t have garlic. It’s totally impossible to understand this. So watermelon I understand. Watermelon really is a bit expensive; but garlic and onions — for this, to make an uproar and scream at Moshe? Bring garlic! Bring onions! You’re not bringing us garlic! It’s impossible to understand — this is worse than little children. People who were at the giving of the Torah — at the occasion of Mount Sinai — want garlic, want onions? If this wasn’t written, we wouldn’t believe this.
However, only the men screamed about this, not the women. “We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt for free” (ibid. 11:5). They received fish for free?
Sticks with whips they received for free. Whips for free. Sticks for free. Not fish for free! Where are they handing out fish for free? All the more so in Egypt — for slaves, there was more? So what is the meaning of “fish for free”?
The Chatam Sofer says that the women in Egypt would go to draw water and the jugs would become filled with fish. The way of the world is that when you go to draw water, the fish flee. Anyone who ever drew water from the river saw that all the fish flee, but in Egypt it was the opposite — the fish jumped into the jugs, and all of this was because of the women, because the women were righteous, and the women did not consent to get divorced.
The women said that there would be miracles, there would be wonders — and so it was really. When the Egyptians came to snatch the children, angels immediately arrived. The angels broke the windows of the homes, broke everything, and took out the children from the homes and began to run with them. The Egyptians together with the dogs ran after the women so that the dogs would bite them, snatch and swallow up the babies and fetuses. The dogs ran after them and by the time the dogs caught up, the babies were swallowed in the ground and saved. The Egyptians brought plows in order to remove the babies — “May they blossom from the city like the grass of the earth” (Tehilim 72:16). “May they blossom from the city” like grass. They would blossom like mushrooms after the rain.
No woman died in the desert, because the woman does not sin — only that [the man] causes her to sin. Every woman can be like Devorah the Prophetess; this isn’t just one woman every 3,000 years. Devorah the Prophetess is every woman. Rabbi Natan writes in Hilchot Milah 4 that every woman can be Queen Esther. Especially a bride can be Queen Esther, can reach the level of Queen Esther.
Mordechai would strengthen Esther every day. A man needs to strengthen his wife every day, every day to speak with her some words of Torah, to tell some words that he heard from the Melaveh Malkah, words from the shiur. Every moment there is a new novelty, every second there is a new novelty. There was a shiur at the Melaveh Malkah; in the morning, there was a shiur.
The wife of On ben Pelet said to him: Now you are going against Moshe — I don’t consent to this. The woman is more zealous than the man. If you remove the Peot — ov v’avoy, what the wife will do! The longer the Peot, the more the woman is happy.
So on the women there was no decree. Rashi says that no woman died in the desert; no woman passed away. The women lived all their 120 years from the moment of their birth.