The Jewish people marched triumphantly out of Egypt. Finally, after hundreds of years in exile, their enemies had been utterly thwarted and the Jewish people’s ordeal in Egypt was over! Their servitude had come to an end, and their redemption was palpable.

Standing at the shores of the Red Sea, the Jewish people began to sing Shirat Hayam, a song expressing their ecstatic gratitude and thanksgiving to G‑d.

Moses and the men sang their song. And then, Miriam and the women rose to sing their song.

What was the women’s contribution to the singing? Why did Miriam and the women’s singing surpass the men’s song?

The men sang with their voices. But the women’s song was composed with voice, tambourines and dance. The women’s hearts were full of a greater joy, and their song was more comprehensive.

“The righteous women of that generation were confident that the Holy One, Blessed be He, would perform miracles for them, so they prepared tambourines and dances.”

As bitter as their lives had become in Egypt, their faith in their redemption grew stronger.

This was the strength of the women who left Egypt, equipped with tambourines and dances of joy and faith.

The women found meri, Miriam’s spirit of rebellion: a feminine strength borne from bitterness, a faith sewn amidst despair.

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Ideas for Discussion
Miriam’s song can be sung in every generation by each of us. It is the song of faith and hope, the song of optimism and goodness.