Are we looking forward to goodness and joy in our lives and preparing appropriately, or are we solely preoccupied with worst case future scenarios? This is what Rav Jonathan Rosenberg asked his congregants on Shabbat morning at the Sha’arei Tzedek synagogue in Los Angeles, elaborating as follows: When the highly emotional and joyful moment arrived after the splitting of the Red Sea and the Song of the Sea was sung, it says that Miriam the prophetess immediately pulled out a drum: Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a drum in her hand, and all the women came out after her with drums and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)
Wait a minute. From where did Miriam’s drum suddenly appear? It is clear that Miriam did not have to rummage around in her suitcase looking for it. It was already with her, right by her side because she had been expecting this moment for years. She had also educated the women of her generation that this moment could come suddenly at any time and they must be ready for it. We can learn a lot from that generation of forceful women: they believed with absolute certainty that this moment would arrive and did everything in their power to finally make it happen.
This thought reminds me of words from an enchanting song by Aharon Razel: “Did you make a place in your heart for the goodness that you will yet discover? Are you ready for the kindness that today will bring?”. Miriam teaches us to live with joyful expectation, to make a place in our hearts for the kindness and goodness sure to come.