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Oakland, CA

 My name is Ariel Root Wolpe. I am a Jewish musician, artist, and community organizer. I love figuring out spiritual community and transforming people's hearts through music.


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A Lesson from Miriam

Ariel Wolpe

Rav Epstein, a kabbalist rabbi, comments that when Moshe led the people from Egypt. His sister, Miriam, gathers the women for a celebration of music, song and dance: “and Miriam answered them [the women]: “Sing to the lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;” (Exodus 15:20-21). Rav Epstein notes that Miriam sang her thanksgiving song in the present tense while Moshe formulated his nearly identical praise in the future. This demonstrates that Miriam, in her dance, accessed a higher state of consciousness than did Moshe through song. Miriam drew the future into the present, initiating the Jewish nation into the secret truth, promise and yearning.

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The ability to sing into the present moment is a muscle that is strengthened with practice. For one who is in the creative process, this ability is invaluable, and all the more so for the pregnant woman. No matter what chaos is going on around her, or what pain she may feel in her own body, being present with what is and accepting what comes will help her make it to the promised land. Miriam's way of doing that was song, and we each have our own form of self-expression that help us come alive and feel like we've voiced our own truth. It may be writing, moving, snuggling, crying, buying a new outfit or eating our favorite food. Miriam teaches us to trust that inner voice and let her flow out, because that will help us live what is actually happening, instead of living in a future that may or may not come to pass. 

We try to take Miriam's example to heart as we focus our minds on the present every day, in every moment.