Paraoh once again, took matters in his own hands. “This will not continue! It’s time for drastic action!” he cried out. “Guards, summon the Jewish women who help deliver the babies. Get those midwives NOW! They help bring Jewish children into the world. We will use them to erase, eradicate, exterminate, eliminate, annihilate and wipe out every Jewish newborn boy FOREVER AND EVER!”
The Jewish midwives, Yocheved and her young daughter Miriam, also known as Shifra and Puah, arrived at the King’s palace.
As midwives, Yocheved and Miriam were called Shifra and Puah, which was a good description of their roles:
Yocheved was called Shifrah because she would “Meshafaret,” which means “to beautify” the newborn infant by washing and smoothing their skin.
Miriam was called Puah which describe the sounds she would make to calm the newborn babies.
In modern times, in many communities throughout the world, women have established Shifra and Puah organizations. After a baby is born, volunteers provide new mothers and their families with nutritious and delicious hot meals, while the mothers are given the opportunity to rest up.
“Hello, this is Leah. Mazal Tov… Chaya Shapiro had a baby! yes, it’s a girl and they named her batya. Do you think you can make some chicken and kugel for their Shabbos meals? Really?! Thanks so much! And don’t forget… it’s a family of 5 and the oldest boy is allergic to nuts.”
What a great honor to go in the ways of Shifra and Puah – Yocheved and Miriam!