Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
At a time when we are flooded with gloomy prognostications, the following episode in this week's Torah portion can plant hope inside us and give us strength.
After the splitting of the Red Sea, the nation erupted in song, giving thanks for the miracle that had just occurred. In that same moment, Miriam the prophetess immediately took a tambourine and led the women in dance: "Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out after her with tambourines and with dances."
But hold on a minute. Where did Miriam suddenly find a tambourine in the middle of the desert? Our commentators explain that Miriam took the tambourine with her from Egypt, where she had kept it by her side during many years of slavery and had it with her still. She had been looking forward to this joyous occasion for a long time . And not just her. Miriam had educated all the women regarding the redemption that could happen at any moment, and therefore they too had prepared for it with tambourines.
There is much to be learned from that generation of believing, optimistic, and forceful women. They expected something good would happen and so it did.
This attitude reminds me of the words in a song by Aharon Razel: "Have you made room in your heart for the goodness you will yet discover? Are you prepared for the kindness that today will bring?"
Miriam teaches us to live with joyful expectation. Despite our difficulties, there is no reason to obsess over dark scenarios when we can, instead, anticipate good news. Have we made room for the kindness and the goodness sure to come?