Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parshat Beshalach

I've been known to read the parsha online when between assignments at the office. Here's another parsha comment that I sent to my husband after an online reading:

כא וַתַּעַן לָהֶם, מִרְיָם: שִׁירוּ לַיהוָה כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה, סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם. {ס}
21 And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD, for He is highly exalted: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. {S}

Note the grammatical construction of the Hebrew:  "lahem"
Last I heard, that would be the masculine form of the third person plural.  In other words, Miriam sang to the entire camp, not just to the women.  So much for Kol Isha.*
[ ¶ ]
Update: DovBear chimes in. I recommend that you follow his links.

  • *Kol Isha (literally, "a woman's voice): the prohibition against a man hearing a woman sing, observed to varying degrees within the Orthodox community.
  • Mechitzah (too lazy to format this link for the comment section.)


Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

To be fair, the word "VaTa'an" doesn't mean "and she sang" but rather "and she answered."

The Wolf

Tue Jan 11, 04:36:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sigh. BrooklynWolf, you just *had* to go rain on my parade.


Actually, I've always wondered about the various translations of the various forms of the verb "la-anot." It's often translated "sing/sang," yet I thought that "la-anot" meant "to answer," and my pocket Oxford Hebrew-English dictionary confirms this translation. This verb also appears in the siddur/prayer book right before "Mi Chamocha," a quote from this parashah, and it's translated "sang" there, too. Nu, what gives?

Tue Jan 11, 04:46:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous rivkayael said...

You didn't mention the even bigger scandal that those women were dancing without a mechitza. ;)

Tue Jan 11, 05:13:00 PM 2011  
Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

Brooklyn Wolf - I have yet to encounter a situation in which any answer that starts with the word "Sing!" is not itself sung.

I can only conclude that Moses and Miriam were precursors to Donny and Marie.

Wed Jan 12, 06:02:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Another wiseguy heard from. :)

On a serious note, so to speak, er, sing, :), Miriam did answer "Shiru laShem. . . Sing to G-d. . ." So, all kidding aside, you do have a point, Reform BT.

Wed Jan 12, 06:07:00 PM 2011  
Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

Brooklyn Wolf - I have yet to encounter a situation in which any answer that starts with the word "Sing!" is not itself sung.

http://tinyurl.com/6euhu7 :)

The Wolf

Wed Jan 12, 06:08:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks for the link, Brooklyn Wolf. Just about all video (YouTube, MySpace, etc.) and social-networking sites are blocked at the office, so I watched this at home. I assume that Shatner would have sung this song if he could sing. :)

Thu Jan 13, 01:48:00 PM 2011  

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