Aside from the blogosphere and the public affairs news cycle, Hollywood has not dealt with yet this weeks’ heroics of two Jewish women: Debbie Friedman and Gabby Gifford. Debbie Friedman was buried this week after a December appearance for Limmud UK. Her songs are seminal in Jewish music especially the song “For Miriam,” which is particularly timely as it ties in with this weeks Torah portion - Miriam leading the women celebrating in song with their timbrels at the Red Sea. A cultural force, Debbie was hailed in many circles and her influence has been felt in music in general for the last few decades, and not just Jewish music. I knew her personally and she was as gracious and vibrant as her music.
I had also the pleasure of meeting Gabrielle Gifford at a few Hollywood fundraisers for Hilary Clinton a few years ago. As we can all see by her example, she exemplifies the true Jewish woman as a warrior. She is a lifelong member of Hadassah, and we at the Morningstar Commission, founded by Hadassah, particularly take her journey personally and as an example of “grace under pressure.” With the rest of the world, we wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to her presence again on the international scene. She is truly a Woman of Valor. Have a good Shabbos.