Shabbat Greetings from Pamela Barkley – January 25

pam barkley

This week is “Shabbat Shira” the Sabbath of song. On Shabbat morning, all across the world, we will read the story of the Israelites fleeing the Egyptians and miraculously crossing the sea to freedom. We are told that when they safely reached the other side, Miriam, Moses’ sister, took a tambourine in her hand and led a group of women in a joyous song and dance in thanks to God. 


A tambourine. 

The Israelites were fleeing Egypt and didn’t even have enough time to let the dough rise and yet the women thought to bring their tambourines?

 It is a fascinating thing when you think about it. We have all played that game – if there was a fire, what would be the three objects you would run to save from the house? We mostly think of family heirlooms and picture albums. And yet Miriam (and many of her girlfriends) when faced with a quick rush out of the house, chose to bring a musical instrument. Why? There are probably lots of explanations but here’s the one I like best: they were making sure to bring along hope so they’d be ready for celebration. After 400 years of slavery, of being beaten down by Pharoah, these women made a decision that they were going to carry something that clearly represented joy and freedom. They 

were going to bring their tambourines and hope, please God, that they would have the chance to use them. This cannot have been easy. But they armed themselves with hope and forged ahead, equipped and prepared for joy and happiness.

What is it in your life that you are hoping for? And what can you do now so that you are ready for  it when it comes? Don’t forget to pack your tambourine because you never know if the next miracle is just around the corner


Shabbat Shalom!

Pamela Barkley

Director of Education

Author: Melissa