"There is nothing ordinary about a Jewish woman. No matter who she is, regardless of her particular circumstances, she is a potential wellspring of goodness and faith, reflecting all that was given at Sinai. Single, married, divorced, widowed, mothering… Praying, working, learning, teaching, building, healing, growing, waiting. Every daughter of Israel is a precious resource of unique creative energy. Each Jewish woman also represents one more possibility to reach the kind of merit needed to illuminate and transform our planet." ~Rivka Zakutinsky
After the Jews left Egypt, they crossed the Red Sea. As the sea closed in on the pursuing Egyptian army, the Torah records the songs they sang. We're taught that the women had tambourines. Tambourines! How in the world did they have tambourines when there wasn't even time to bake bread?
Miriam, a beloved teacher and leader of the Jewish women taught that the horrors of Egypt would end and that Jewish women should be prepared! Here we must introduce you to a Hebrew word that is important for every Jewish woman to understand. "Emunah." Even if you think you know what this word means, we need to dive deeper. Emunah is often translated as "faith" or "belief". Like many words, something gets lost in the translation. Faith can be blind. Belief has a mixed bag of uses. We need to go for the heart of this because it is a foundation for the Jewish woman. Emunah is a knowing level of surety and understanding that things will turn out right in the end no matter what things look like now. Emunah is in our bones and in our breath.
To fully understand, we need to go back in time to when Miriam was a little girl. After Pharaoh decreed that all Jewish baby boys were to be drowned, Amram and Yocheved, Miriam's father and mother, divorced so that they would not have children to be thrown into the Nile. At a tender, young age, Miriam had a prophesy. She saw that her parents would give birth to the man who would take the Jews out of slavery. So she went to her father, with all due respect and told him that by separating from his wife, he was not only giving power to the decree of Pharaoh against baby boys, this would now also be a decree against baby girls being born. Amaram was the leader of the Jews and families followed his lead as husbands and wives separated. With Miriam's prophesy, Amram and Yocheved married again. Moshe (Moses) was born and the rest, as they say, is history!
So, back at the side of the Red Sea, as the Jews sang, the women with tambourines in hand, the Torah was written: "Miriam, the prophetess, sister of Aharon". So now we have to ask: Wait a minute, she was also the sister of Moshe, why doesn't the Torah say that? Because when she had her prophesy, only Aharon was born at that time. Over eighty years later, she was dancing in delight that her prophesy of a redeemer had come to fruition. Who among us can hold tight during the hard times with that kind of emunah?
Miriam was a teacher to the Jewish women. These women used their emunah to look into their copper mirrors and use their beauty to lift the spirits of their husbands. They trusted that the harsh and bitter life in Egypt would come to an end--they made tambourines. If you are a Jewish woman today, you are a direct descendant of this legacy.
The quality of emunah lives inside of you. Find the still quiet place within your heart of hearts and you will find the light of emunah. It is the song of your soul. And your soul does not sing alone. This is the cornerstone of Sisterhood of the Copper Mirrors.
about this blog
If you look into the scripture of the Jewish people, you will see the strength and beauty of the Jewish woman throughout our generations. This blog and website is dedicated to bringing their stories and strengths to light, to give all women access to the truth about Torah, Judaism, and the significant role of partnership of women in building the nation, which in turn has a mission to bring light into the world for all nations.