Dvar for Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:17)
Parshat Beha’alotcha details several by the Jews, and the resolution of those complaints, including flying in quails and introducing prophets. The Torah then 1) records Miriam speaking negatively about Moshe, 2) tells us the fact that Moshe was the most humble person on earth, and 3) G-d defends Moshe to Miriam and Aaron. Is there a connection between the complaints, Moshe’s humility and Miriam’s Lashon Hara (harmful words)?
Rabbi David Fohrman explains that Moshe’s humility meant that his sole purpose was to benefit G-d, which is why Moshe was also able to assert himself when required, and relinquish some of his responsibility to prophets when asked to. When you’re willing to be anonymous and forego your ego, that’s when you can affect the most change. That’s what G-d was conveying to Miriam, to the Jews, and to us – it’s not about who gets to deliver a message, it’s about getting the message to where it needs to get to.
Bonus: The name of the place where all this happened was changed from Paran (10:12) to Tab’erah (11:3) because of the fire caused by the complaints, to Kivrot Ha’taavah (11:34) because of the craving for meat, and then back to Paran (12:16). It could be that once the lesson was learned, the Jews were able to regroup where it all started, with their new understanding about complains and humility.