January 11, 2011
“And the women dancing with their timbrels follow Miriam as she sang a song, Sing a song to the One whom we’ve exalted! Miriam and the women dance and dance the whole night long.” (Miriam’s Song, Debbie Friedman, From Beshallach 15.20)
“Sing unto Gd, sing a new song, oh sing, praises to Gd, give thanks to Him with a song, Oh sing praises unto the Lord thy Gd. Rejoice with the Lord, all yee Righetous” (Sing Unto Gd, Debbie Friedman)
Between this week’s Torah and Haftoarah readings, Moshe, Miriam and Devorah Hanavia with Barak sing songs in their joy with community.
In Moshe’s saying “Az Yashir” (the Az possibly rendering the future into the past) and “Ashira” (I will sing), we have the past of the splitting of the sea, and the future conquests covered. Could be that he is also referencing Miriam’s song, just one perek later? Miriam’s song, is the song of the present “Sheroo,” and also includes a far more distant past, an ancient past where Miriam was prophesizing to her parents as “Aaron’s sister”. some say the prophecy is about Moshe, but others about Love, the need to keep love alive, in order to bring about change. (i.e. moshe’s birth)
Just in hearing the torah revealed through her songs, Debbie Friedman “found a way to make (her) life a blessing” as she so beautifully prays for in her Misheberach, and to “bless Gd’s name” (Sing Unto Gd.) Just the structure of the first three notes of her Shema embody the essence of the blessing we make three times a day. Beginning low, raising it up, and ending just a little bit higher than we began, she taught through her music, the presence of the Divine.
“The old shall dream dreams and the youth shall see visions, and our hopes shall rise up to the sky! we must live for today, we must build for tomorrow. Give us time, give us strength, give us life!” (The Youth Shall See Visions, Debbie Friedman)
A profound woman, and prolific songwriter,