What Miriam sang

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

This week is Shabbat Shira – the Sabbath of Song & poetry. It is thus named because the weekly Torah reading contains Shirat Hayam, the song sung in exultation after the miraculous parting of the Sea of Reeds. In truth, though, there are two songs sung. One by Moses and the other by Miriam.

The 18th century Hassidic writer the Meor V''Shemesh shares a powerful paradigm shifting commentary that contrasts these two songs.
He bases his writings on the Kabbalistic principles of linear verses circular consciousness. According to Kabbalah, line consciousness is essentially masculine. It is hierarchical, progress-oriented, future-directed, competitive; the epitome of the world''s current state of affairs. Line consciousness correlates with Moses'' song, rendered in the future tense of “Az Yashir – I will sing”.

Circle consciousness, on the other hand, is egalitarian, rooted in the present, supportive, non-hierarchical. It is a feminine paradigm.  And more than that, it epitomizes Messianic consciousness, the glowing state of affairs towards which our world is presently evolving. Miriam''s song, in keeping with good circle consciousness, is thus sung in the present tense with women dancing in circular form. Each woman stands equadistance from the center, all with equal access to God, where everyone is holy and wholly rooted in their own source of wisdom. These circle-enacting women, according to the Meor V''shemesh, were able to access a higher revelation than Moses, history''s greatest prophet.

We live in promising times where fundamentals of circle consciousness are at the core of the work that so many of us are engaged in today. I have the honor of leading weekly women''s circles here in Jerusalem. Our meetings are based on a model of group work culled directly from what we call, “The Miriam Code” - the enigmatic 2 verses of Miriam''s song and dance. We strive to create a safe and sacred enviroment for growth by using the circle principles of full embodiment, presence, inclusivity, creativity and a pervasive sense of equality. It is deep and powerful work. (To read more about the Miriam Code please go to: http://www.havayah.com/tools.html)

I bless us all that we may each in our own way taste the fruits of circle consciousness flooding into and rounding out the angles of our all-too-linear world.
What Miriam Sang
Women raise your voices 
in rightful raucous

beat drum, sing song
and stun anyone
who ever called
you too timid
to sing

For the Spirit alone
instructs your lips and
limbs as to the allowance
of their bend

and propriety is defined by
the prophetess
who abides within

for she will be the one to pull the covers
of your tresses
to dress her modest
as she launches
into her loudest campaign
for you to stand and dance majestic
on this well-sanded stage

sisters, this is why we wear our drums
ready on our shoulder blades

this is why we strum
the strings that cinch 
and clasp us close

to seize this moment at the sea
that it may become a fable famous
and decree
for as long as history
needs a precedent
to utter unabashed
riffs of praise

here we are held
responsible to sing
of the God-drenched things
we have seen

and we will whirl castles out of sand
with our dance
unhampered
unashamed
in''tranced

for we handmaids
have a mandate to hand-make
our own music,
to move muscles
and meet quotas
of creative output
through inspiration
and through struggle

to sway on sand-dunes
undone by a tune

to be emboldened
in our God-given right
to self-expression

and let us ignite eachother''s
dormant scorch of dreams and vision

for the secret encoded
in our circular chorus
will speak for generations
of a new paradigm of being

of how to be connected and conscious
even amidst conflict
with a promise of resolution
through attunement
to the circle of life
to which we are all enchained

and our dance will
evoke an approaching era 
when the ailments
born of institution & competition
will dissolve into 
a thick collodial solvent
of equality

and common dignity
for all will
incorporate
irregardless of position
on the no-longer existent ladder
of hierarchy

our circle will model
what it is to be fully embodied in the present
a servant to the womb of the Moment

with no future tense
impending & impeading
the flowing rhythm of our spin

here we are free
from the hamperings of
will-be''s or has-beens

Temporality is our temple
in this circle
where all is ample
and transparent

ours, a choreography
of equality
inclusivity
of bringing all-of-me
into this welcoming crucible of
communal commitment
known as a circle 

here we offer limb to reach beyond
the limitations
of a linear world gone wrong

here we are egalitarian
and elegant
responsive
and penetrant

embodying ideas
and idealizing emotion
invoking insight
at the lips of the ocean

holding up mirrors
like the windows of waves
-reflecting eachother
face to effervescent face

and so it was, is and will be
in one graceful gesture
at the parting sea
that the women set out with clapping feet
to circle in a consciousness
of present tense
and equality