|1. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses regarding the Cushite woman he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.||א. וַתְּדַבֵּר מִרְיָם וְאַהֲרֹן בְּמֹשֶׁה עַל אֹדוֹת הָאִשָּׁה הַכֻּשִׁית אֲשֶׁר לָקָח כִּי אִשָּׁה כֻשִׁית לָקָח:|
|2. They said, “Has the Lord spoken only to Moses? Hasn’t He spoken to us too?” And the Lord heard.||ב. וַיֹּאמְרוּ הֲרַק אַךְ בְּמֹשֶׁה דִּבֶּר יְ־הֹוָ־ה הֲלֹא גַּם בָּנוּ דִבֵּר וַיִּשְׁמַע יְ־הֹוָ־ה:|
In this week´s portion of the torah, G-d punishes Miriam for undermining the chosen nature of Moses. I was thinking about how we tend to miss one another´s beauty when we move directly to a comparison. As opposed to observing who the other is, we often consider who the other is in comparison to ourselves. What the Torah lets us see here is the fullness that we can observe in another person when we see them as a part of something holy.
In the New Yorker, Jhumpa Lahiri tells us the story of how she became a writer. Her parents discouraged her from writing because of the possible instability of the career. Like the Torah discusses, she is the being compared to another more ´successful´son or daughter, which prevents them (and her) from seeing her awe inspiring talent. I wonder in how many ways we have boxed ourselves into identities because of other´s lack of confidence in us or jealousy.