In this week’s Torah reading, after the defeat of the Egyptian chariots on the bottom of the Sea of Reeds, Miriam sings out in the tradition of great women offering leadership in battle and celebration.
Dr. Ellen Frankel describes this tradition of women’s songs in the Torah through the characters of Deborah and Hannah and Yael all of whom managed to break through a textual tradition dominated by men. One can only imagine how many more women’s voices didn’t make it into our sacred texts (Dr. Frankel discusses this in her wonderful book, The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the Torah).
Reading through the centuries of Jewish tradition requires us to listen to the hints of minority positions that were underrepresented. Jewish teachings emphasize, and Jewish history highlights, the need for digging into what was found less in the past as a way of making our present more egalitarian and equitable for everyone.
Wishing everyone a week of song and celebration, looking forward to seeing you at our Broadway themed Shabbat Shirah this Friday evening,