The Israelites had just experienced an extraordinary miracle, the parting of the waters of the sea.
And upon reaching the other side, Moshe led the nation in the singing of Az Yashir, a jubilant song of thanks to Hashem.
And then Miriam, his sister, led all the women and she took ‘attof beyadah’ – a drum or a timbrel in her hand.
‘Vattetzena chal-hannashim achareiha betuppim uvimcholot’ and all the women followed her.
And they were holding drums or timbrels, and they were dancing.
But, when they were leaving Egypt, they were in such a hurry, under such intense duress, worrying for their very survival. Each person just had their two hands, to take their large families, and to shlep whatever they could of their prized possessions.
Where did these instruments come from?
Rashi gives the answer. He tells us that the women of the people of Israel had such deeply rooted Emunah, such extraordinary faith in Hashem, that while they were leaving Egypt, they were already preparing themselves for the celebration after their redemption.
I remember some time ago, reading about a drought in Israel in the 1950s.
A fast day had been called and in Jerusalem thousands of people converged on a central square in order to recite Tehillim, Psalms, to pray for rain.
There was an elderly admor, a Chassidish Rebbe, who was pushed along by some of his Chassidim in a wheelchair.
Something amazing happened. During the course of the Tehillim, clouds gathered and by the end of the event it started to rain.
The admor then reached for an umbrella that he had put in a bag at the back of his wheelchair, and he opened it up. His Chassidim said “Rebbe, it is amazing, you are the only person here with an umbrella, how come you have got it?”
He said “what are you talking about? We came to pray for rain, so I brought my umbrella”.
That was the deep-rooted faith that the women of the people of Israel had.
In similar fashion, at this time right now we are so deeply concerned about the State of Israel and about Jewish people right around the globe.
We pray to the Almighty with every fibre of our faith that He will deliver us and transform our plight from darkness to light, so that we will enjoy comfort and consolation, and so that we will celebrate peace and security as soon as possible.