For my masters in library science, I took a storytelling class that I loved. During that time I was also in the midst of my conversion classes, so for one of the assignments I wrote my own midrash about Miriam.
Hi, my name is Anjelica Ruiz. This story is called “The Other Prophet”. It’s based on midrashim, Jewish stories that fill in the gaps found in the Bible, and the Bible stories about Miriam, Moses’s sister. You will hear many different names for God, including Adonai, Hashem, and the Almighty. This story is not intended to present an all representative version of Miriam’s story, but is merely a fun way of looking at it. Enjoy!
Shalom, my name is Miriam. Yes, yes, that Miriam, the sister of Moses, one of the greatest…blah blah blah. Sheesh, can’t anyone get past my oh so holy brother and his status as the greatest prophet?
Sorry. It’s just that I always seem to get overshadowed by him. I mean, I’m a prophet too! People always seem to forget that. AND, I was given the power by Adonai to bring up wells of fresh water in that dry desert. Sure Moses got Pharoah to “LET MY PEOPLE GO” (and seriously? I’m getting tired of him telling that story. I get it. You’re great. MOVE ON) but I helped sustain our people through that seemingly never ending journey (I also suspect that M was actually lost part of that time. Typical).
So here’s where everything started. My mom picked a bad time to give birth to boy (and honestly, I was hoping for a baby sister). The Pharoah didn’t want any Hebrew boys being born so he ordered all male newborns of slaves to be killed. My mom panicked and put baby M in a basket (which I had been using to play house with, thanks Mom). I was told to follow him down the river, which was really long and took aaaaallllll day. M got the better end of the deal, being raised by the princess while Mom and I worked as her slaves. Whatever, I’m totally not still hung up over that.
You know what came next, M got disillusioned, ran into the desert, married Zipporah (more on her later), talked to the Almighty via a burning bush, came back, went all Charlton Heston on his former sort of brother, the newly crowned Pharoah, brought about plagues (I swear I’m still picking locusts out of my hair), and led us out of enslavement towards the Promised Land.
Honestly, I’m glad he came back to us and he was a great leader ( most of the time) but that desert trekking got real old about a week in. And then there was that time I said some not so nice things about Zippy, M’s wife. Boy, was that a mistake (although in my defense, she said I was looking a little portly. Really? Don’t ever say that to a woman.) Good ol’ Hashem then brought me, M, and Aaron, our youngest brother, together. There was a lot of lightning and thunder and something about how M was a greater prophet than me and Aaron because Hashem appeared directly to M and blah blah blah. Honestly, I’m a grown woman and getting lectured is not my idea of a good time. And then Hashem struck me with some really ugly boils and banished me for a week. I love Hashem, really I do, but it’s my right as a Jew to question him. Honestly, I think Hashem really gets a giggle out of my semi rebellion. Well, anyway M did a good thing and got me back on the Almighty’s good side. Bless him. I guess.
Look, I realize I may sound ungrateful but I loved my life. I’m a woman; I’m allowed to complain every once in a while (actually, I’m allowed to complain once a month for about a week. You know what I’m talking about ladies. Men, you can figure it out).
I mean, I took out my handy tambourine after M did that neat trick with the Red Sea and shook it with all the joy I felt and got everyone else shaking their groove thing. If there’s anything I want to be remembered for, it’s that I taught that you gotta celebrate the little victories along with the big ones. For all the weirdness between me, M, and Aaron, we made a really good team. Plus, M found his voice and stood up for his big-mouthed sis. Hashem understood that strife and a little drama is part of life (how else can I explain the presence of those Real Housewives’ shows? Really descendants? That’s what you spend your time on? Although I do love me some Honey Boo Boo. There’s a girl who knows how to love the little things in life).
And that’s the greatest story of all time as told by the other prophet. I gotta get back to the yeshiva here in Olam Ha Ba, the World to Come, which is basically full of books and never ending debates and learning (Where are the Members of my Tribe? You know that is totally what we Jews thrive on). M and I have to settle an argument about a Talmud passage. (He’s totally wrong, FYI).
Anyway, Shalom Aleichem, peace be upon you and all that. And don’t forget to set out my cup at Passover! Elijah and I have a yearly bet on who gets more cups set aside for them and I’m totally gonna outnumber him this year.