I heard that the problem with Miriam's Lashon Hara about Moshe was that she compared him with other prophets. With this comparation, she downgraded him, as he was a much bigger prophet and even comparing his prophecy level with theirs (Miriam and Aharon) was already an insult.

So, the main point of the Lashon Hara was not that she criticized him for leaving his wife per se, but because, by doing so, she compared his prophecy level with theirs.

Is this correct? If so, does anyone know where this is written?

  • Isn't this what Rashi says?
    – robev
    Oct 24, 2022 at 9:39
  • robev, where does Rashi says this? Oct 24, 2022 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


Both reasons (the leaving the wife and comparing prophecy levels) are accurate and fit in with each other. Moshe left his wife because he reasoned that Hashem could talk to him at any moment and he didn’t want to be in a state of impurity by being married, so he divorced Tzipporah. Miriam criticized this and said “why does Moshe think he’s so great that he needs to divorce his wife? I didn’t divorce my husband and Hashem still speaks to me. Aharon didn’t divorce his wife and he speaks with Hashem all the time. Our 3 Fathers didn’t divorce their wives and they spoke constantly to Hashem…so why does Moshe think he’s so special” (btw I’m paraphrasing this from Avot D’Rabbi Natan). So as you can see, Miriam’s criticism of Moshe divorcing his wife is directly related to the idea that she thought they were all on the same prophecy level and that Moshe wasn’t unique or special (even though he was). Aharon even says that Moshe was acting with haughtiness when he divorced his wife, further supporting this notion that they weren’t happy with how Moshe insinuated to be closer than them to Hashem

  • Perhaps providing the exact source of the Avos DeRebbi Nosson?
    – Dov
    Oct 24, 2022 at 10:11
  • @Dov it’s somewhere in chapter 9. Oct 24, 2022 at 10:23
  • Yes, that's the general answer I've heard. I never heard it was jealousy though, just general criticism of Moshe thinking of himself too highly. Thanks for the source, I will bli neder look it up
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Oct 24, 2022 at 12:33

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