As I noted earlier today, I have re-(but not totally)reversed my opinion on Miryam’s place in G’ulah. For the first part of this discussion, go here.

The idea proposed by Reconstructionist liturgy was compelling one, achieving what I would call a noble end, but the means, despite what I may have said a couple of weeks ago has always felt just a tad lacking to me. To give credit where credit is due, the discussion in the comments on Part I of this saga between me and elf’s DH directly resulted in the following new idea.

The problem that elf’s DH pointed out at great length is that, although it is not a direct quote, the line in question (which introduces Mi Chamochah) is a direct reference and messing with it seemed to muddy the story given to us by the Torah. However, following, Shirat Hayam, there is a description of Miryam, drum in hand (where did this tambourine idea come from? tof definitely means drum in Hebrew), leading the women in a refrain of the first line of the song already sung by Mosheh and the men.

So I give you the following idea: Instead of attributing to Miryam lines that we don’t know that she sang, we attribute to her a line, new to Mi Chamochah, but true to the text, which we know she did sing from the p’shat of the text.

Between “Nora t’hilot oseh feleh” and the following closing part of Mi Chamochah, I insert the following: “Miryam the prophet, drum in hand, and all the women sang a song, singing: ‘Shiru lAdonai ki ga’oh ga’ah.”

מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְךָ עָנוּ שִׁירָה בְּשִׂמְחָה רַבָּה, וְאָמְרוּ כֻלָּם:מִי כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם אדוני?
מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּֽדֶשׁ,
נוֹרָא תְהִלֹּת, עֹֽשֵׂה פֶֽלֶא.

מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה, תֹּף בְּיָדָהּ,
וְכָל־הַנָּשִׁים לְךָ עָנוּ שִׁירָה
וְאָמְרוּ שִׁירוּ לַאדוני כִּֽי גָאֹה גָּאָה

10 Responses to LONE STAR SIDUR PROJECT: G’ulah part II

  1. Getzel January 28, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    why not just sing the whole disney song?

  2. David January 29, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    Amen, Getzel. You still haven’t sold me on the need for this change in the first place? Why not give credit to Aaron too? And don’t forget Nachshon!

    In other news, if you don’t change the feed settings on this blog to allow me to read your posts (rather than just a snippet) from my feed reader, you may soon loose an avid reader. Be forewarned.

  3. davidamwilensky January 29, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    I’m not going to continue arguing the point of why the change is good or bad because no one will ever convince you, David.

    Getzel, I won’t lie. I thought of this sitting in Everett Fox’s presentation about the Prince of Egypt. And it’s Dreamworks. Not Disney.

    David, you’re better at this shit than me. I don’t know how to do that.

  4. Emma January 29, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    you know…I kinda like it. :-)

  5. gsmckinney January 29, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Since you changed the blog’s title, the notices in Facebook don’t seem to know what the title of your blog is, so something has definitely changed about how updates are being transmitted into the blogosphere.

  6. davidamwilensky January 29, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Thanks Emma. Mom, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  7. Elf's DH February 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm #

    (I completely missed this post in January because of my broken aggregator.)

    IMO, your new formulation is going a bit off track. How do you connect back to “יי ימלך לעולם ועד” and the geula ending?

    The prayer works as a progression from:
    “we prayed to You when You redeemed us last time” (the sea) to “and, by the way, redeem us again, You who are Israel’s redeemer.”

  8. David A.M. Wilensky February 16, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Elf’s DH – I don’t understand the question. What do you mean how do I connect back? I don’t see how I disconnect to begin with.

  9. Elf's DH February 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    The male/female parallelism is there, but the text seems like it’s lacking a connection to what follows.
    “שירה חדשה” is a shorter poetic description for Shirat Hayam. Which ends in “יי ימלך לעולם ועד” — also part of the mens’ song only.

    (And, why does Miriam get the title “prophetess,” but Moshe lacks the title?)

    One possible track for this is to add the women’s song *after* “יי ימלך לעולם ועד” — something like.

    “ואז יצאו מרים ובנות ישראל בתופים ובמחולות ולך ושרו כי גאה גאה. בגלל אבות ואמהות תושיע בנים”

    (note: בנים is being used here as a plural neutral-gendered noun. “בנים ובנות” is awkward and unnecessary.)

    Then continue with either:
    “ותביא גאולה לבני בניהם”
    or “צור ישראל”
    or “כאמור גואלנו יי צבאות שמו קדוש ישראל”

    (The ending is being used as textual “glue” and is derived from “בגלל אבות תושיע בנים, ותביא גאולה לבני בניהם” which immediately precedes בא”י גאל ישראל in some variants of nusach Ashkenaz when a piyyut is inserted at this point.)

  10. davidamwilensky February 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    Hm. I like all of that. I’ll have to think about it. Miryam gets prophetess because that is how she is described in the line preceding the women’s song in the text.

    Same reason that Debbie Friedman (shudder) composed Miriam’s Song to say, “And Miriam the prophetess took her timbrel in her hand/and all the women followed her etc.”