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Usually comes about in the Hebrew Month of “Shevat” and before or around the Feast of “Tu B’Shevat”!


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Exodus 15 Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Song of Moses

15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to Yahweh:

“I will sing to Yahweh.
    He has won a glorious victory.
    He has thrown horses and their riders into the sea.
Yah is my strength and my song.
    He is my Savior.
        This is my El, and I will praise him,
            my father’s Elohim, and I will honor him.
Yahweh is a warrior!
Yahweh is his name.
He has thrown Pharaoh’s chariots and army into the sea.
    Pharaoh’s best officers were drowned in the Red Sea.
The deep water covered them.
    They sank to the bottom like a rock.
Your right hand, O Yahweh, wins glory because it is strong.
Your right hand, O Yahweh, smashes your enemies.
With your unlimited majesty, you destroyed those who attacked you.
    You sent out your burning anger.
        It burned them up like straw.
With a blast from your nostrils, the water piled up.
    The waves stood up like a dam.
        The deep water thickened in the middle of the sea.

“The enemy said, ‘I’ll pursue them!
    I’ll catch up with them!
        I’ll divide the loot!
            I’ll take all I want!
                I’ll use my sword!
                    I’ll take all they have!’
10 Your breath blew the sea over them.
    They sank like lead in the raging water.

11 “Who is like you among the gods, O Yahweh?
Who is like you?
    You are glorious because of your holiness
        and awe-inspiring because of your splendor.
    You perform miracles.
12 You stretched out your right hand.
The earth swallowed them.

13 “Lovingly, you will lead the people you have saved.
Powerfully, you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
14 People will hear of it and tremble.
    The people of Philistia will be in anguish.
15 The tribal leaders of Edom will be terrified.
    The powerful men of Moab will tremble.
        The people of Canaan will be deathly afraid.
16 Terror and dread will fall on them.
Because of the power of your arm, they will be petrified
    until your people pass by, O Yahweh,
    until the people you purchased pass by.
17 You will bring them and plant them on your own mountain,
    the place where you live, O Yahweh,
    the holy place that you built with your own hands, O Adonay.
18 Yahweh will rule as king forever and ever.”

19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and cavalry went into the sea, Yahweh made the water of the sea flow back over them. However, the Israelites had gone through the sea on dry ground.

The Song of Miriam

20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand. All the women, dancing with tambourines, followed her. 21 Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to Yahweh.
    He has won a glorious victory.
    He has thrown horses and their riders into the sea.”

God Provides Water for the Israelites

22 Moses led Israel away from the Red Sea into the desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink the water because it tasted bitter. That’s why the place was called Marah [Bitter Place]. 24 The people complained about Moses by asking, “What are we supposed to drink?”

25 Moses cried out to Yahweh, and Yahweh showed[a] him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There Yahweh set down laws and rules for them to live by, and there he tested them. 26 He said, “If you will listen carefully to Yahweh your Elohim and do what he considers right, if you pay attention to his commands and obey all his laws, I will never make you suffer any of the diseases I made the Egyptians suffer, because I am Yahweh Ropheka.”

27 Next, they went to Elim, where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees. They camped there by the water.


Grab your tambourine, guitar, piano, etc as well as your dancing feet, clapping hands, lovely singing voice then Join us in YAHUDAH (that is to say, Praise and Worship unto ABBA YAHUVEH/YAHWEH, YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH and SHKINYINYAH GLORY ELOHIM Almighty) this “Tu B’Shevat”:



(By Dr. Judith Christie McAllister)


Shirah (Hebrew: שירה) is a Hebrew feminine given name meaning “poetry” or “song.” It was the second most popular name given to girls born in Israel in 2012.

This Shabbat we celebrate a very special moment in the Torah, a very musical moment in Jewish biblical history. This Shabbat is Shabbat Shirah. It is the Sabbath of Singing. Many congregations highlight this Shabbat by creating services brimming with extraordinary music to celebrate Moses and Miriam leading the Israelites across the Sea of Reeds (The Red Sea) and out of Egypt.

Revelation 15:3 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

And they are singing the song of Moses[a] the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and wonderful are Your deeds,
    Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot![b]
Just and true are Your ways,
    O King of the nations![c]


This Shabbat, we read “Parashat B’shalach” from Chapter 15 in the Book of Exodus. This section is important for several reasons. It is visually, liturgically and musically important. Shabbat Shirah gets its name from part of the sedra (weekly Torah reading) known as Shirat HaYam (song of the sea). Visually, this song/poem is laid out very differently from the rest of the Torah so it is very obvious to the reader and to the congregation during Hagbah (the lifting of the Torah after it is read) that something special is happening. It is known as ‘brick on brick.’ There are several additional songs/poems in the Torah that are also written differently than the rest; another great example is Parashat Haazinu in Deuteronomy Chapter 32, which is written in two narrow columns.

Liturgically, this is the part of the Torah from which the Rabbis selected Mi Chamocha to become part of our worship. The prayer is taken from Exodus Chapter 15, verses 11 and 18. “Mi chamocha ba-ei-lim Adonai, mi ka-mocha ne-e-dar ba-kodesh, no-rah t’hi-lot o-seh feleh (11). Adonai yim-loch l’o-lam va-ed (18).” “Who is like You, O God, among the gods that are worshipped? Who is like You, O God, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, working wonders (11)? Adonai will reign forever and ever (18)!” There are so many wonderful settings of Mi Chamocha.


Musically, not only does Shabbat Shirah lend itself to be a service throughout which one is totally immersed in amazing music led by the Cantor, choir, temple band and guest musicians, there is a special musical motif that exists just for this song/poem in the Torah. When we read Shirat HaYam, we intertwine this special melody with the regular Shabbat Torah chant.

You may recognize another part of Shirat HaYam from Debbie Friedman’s z”l ” Miriam’s Song,” from Exodus Chapter 15, verses 20-21: “Miriam the prophetess … took the tambourine in her hand; and all the women followed her with tambourines and dances. And Miriam called to them: “Sing to God…” (JPS translation).

If you are wondering why we would be addressing the story of the Exodus from Egypt at this time of year, and not merely around Passover, my answer to you would be this: We celebrate Passover in the spring partly because of its connection to the harvest season and the timing assigned for the Feast of Unleavened Bread given by the Torah. Yet the Torah reading cycle brings us the story of the Exodus during this time of year. Not only do we read the story, we have a special Shabbat dedicated to celebrate the crossing of the Red Sea – Shabbat Shirah. As a Cantor, I can think of no other holiday that is inherently dedicated to singing and not just any kind of singing – Jewish women singing. What better way to share in the celebration of the Exodus from ancient Egypt than with song – just as Miriam enjoined the Israelite women in song and dance.


Grab your tambourine, guitar, piano, etc as well as your dancing feet, clapping hands, lovely singing voice then Join us in YAHUDAH (that is to say, Praise and Worship unto ABBA YAHUVEH/YAHWEH, YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH and SHKINYINYAH GLORY ELOHIM Almighty) this “Tu B’Shevat”:



(By “The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir”)





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A handful of Shabbatot (plural for Shabbat) deserve special mention. These Shabbatot have special Torah readings associated with them. The most noteworthy of these special Shabbatot are known as the Four Parshiyot (the Four [Torah] Portions).

Shabbat Sheqalim

Shabbat Sheqalim recalls the census taken in the wilderness, described in Exodus 30:11-16, which is the maftir portion. The people are to donate a half-shekel (a silver coin) as a tax to provide for the maintenance of the Tent of Meeting and its service, and the coins are counted instead of the people.

There are many lessons to be learned from this brief passage. The fact that both rich and poor contribute the same amount reminds us that both rich and poor are equally valued in the eyes of the Divine. The fact that we count coins instead of people reminds us that people are not to be thought of as mere numbers on a ledger. The fact that the census contributions are used to maintain the Tent of Meeting reminds us of the importance of contributing to the upkeep of the synagogue (a favorite theme for rabbis!).

On Shabbat Sheqalim, we also read a haftarah portion from II Kings 11:17-12:17, which also makes reference to the census money and the use of it for Temple maintenance (see II Kings 12:5-6).

Shabbat Sheqalim occurs on the Rosh Chodesh of the month before the month of Nissan (that is, the Rosh Chodesh of Adar or Adar II in leap years), or on the last Shabbat before that Rosh Chodesh. Nissan is the month when Pesach (Passover) occurs. Sheqalim is read at this time because, according to tradition, the half-shekel census was taken on the first of Nissan, and the reading is meant to be a reminder of the upcoming census.

Shabbat Zakhor

The reading for Shabbat Zakhor is very troubling for many Jews: a passage commanding us to remember (zakhor) the treachery of Amalek and to blot out their memory. (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). The Amalekites were a tribe of people who came upon the Israelites shortly after their flight from Egypt and attacked them from behind, preying upon the weakest of an exhausted group of people. See Exodus 17:8-16 and Deuteronomy 25:17-19.

Many find this commandment troubling because, in ordering us to “blot out the remembrance of Amalek,” it appears to advocate genocide, killing people because of their race. Shabbat Zakhor’s corresponding haftarah portion (I Samuel 15) is even more explicit on this point, ordering Saul to kill the men, women, children and cattle of Amalek.

The sages have long understood the commandment in Parshat Zakhor as a command to blot out the type of peoplethat Amalek represents: those that prey upon the weak, those who do not believe in justice, those who hate without reason. The sages use the term “Amalek” as a shorthand for vicious, evil people who behave like mad dogs, in much the same way that many people today casually toss around the term “Nazi” to refer to anyone they disagree with rather than to Germans or members of the National Socialist party. It is these evil people that we are commanded to destroy, the sages say, not any specific ethnic group. This understanding of the term is quite clear in 15th century Sephardic commentary Me’am Loez, which said, “In every generation Amalek rises to destroy us, and each time he clothes himself in a different nation.”

In addition, many scholars have suggested that the best way to “blot out” these evil people is to turn them away from their evil. If an Amalekite were to accept basic principles of morality (see The Seven Laws of Noah), the sages say, he would cease to be an Amalekite and would not be someone whose memory we are commanded to blot out. Likewise, someone who chooses to behave in this way becomes an Amalekite whether he is born to that nation or not, as Me’am Loez said.

For further discussion of whether Amalek is a racial designation and this is a commandment to genocide, see A Question of Race on

Shabbat Zakhor occurs on the Shabbat before Purim, because Haman, the villain of the Purim story, was an Amalekite. The Book of Esther describes Haman as an “Agagite,” that is, a descendant of Agag, King of the Amalekites, who was spared by Saul contrary to Divine commandment in the haftarah portion.

Shabbat Parah

Shabbat Parah occurs on the Shabbat following Purim, and marks the beginning of formal preparations for Pesach (Passover). The special Torah reading, Numbers 19:1-22, discusses a ritual of purification involving a red heifer (in Hebrew, parah adumah). Specifically, the ritual purifies people from the ritual impurity that comes from contact with the dead. At the end of the ritual, the people are purified, but the person who performed the ritual becomes temporarily impure.

The rabbis speak of the ritual of Parah Adumah as the greatest of mysteries: it makes the impure pure, and makes the pure impure. This proves that the rabbis were all men, because any woman knows that when you clean a house, you start with a clean sponge and a dirty house and you end with a dirty sponge and a clean house, and there is no great mystery in this!

The passage is chosen for this time because of the need to purify oneself for Pesach, in preparation for pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Temple. The corresponding haftarah portion is Ezekiel 36:16-38, which also talks about purification.

Shabbat Ha-Chodesh

The last of the Four Parshiyot is Ha-Chodesh, Exodus 12:1-20. With one simple line, it establishes the Hebrew calendar: “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months, it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.” (Ex. 12:2).

This portion is read on Rosh Chodesh Nissan or on the last Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan.

Now, you may be wondering: why are we reading about the first month of the year in the spring? Isn’t Jewish New Year in the fall?

On the Hebrew calendar, months are counted from Nissan in the spring, but year numbers change in Tishri (the seventh month) in the fall. The month that is the beginning of months referred to above is Nissan, and this is quite clear from the passage in Exodus, which goes on to talk about preparations for Pesach (Passover), which begins on Nissan 15.

The corresponding haftarah portion is Ezekiel 45:16-46:18, which also talks about the first months and the offerings at that time.

Other Special Shabbatot

A few other Shabbatot receive special notice on the calendar. These Shabbatot have special haftarah readings or have special significance to their standard readings. Unlike the Four Parshiyot above, these Shabbatot do not have special Torah readings and do not require an additional Torah scroll.

Shabbat Ha-Gadol

Shabbat Ha-Gadol is the Shabbat before Pesach (Passover). Traditionally, this was one of the few times of the year that a rabbi gave a lengthy sermon (in modern times, we get one every week). The sermon was usually about preparations for Pesach, and this special Shabbat commemorates a preparation for the original Pesach in Egypt. Shabbat Ha-Gadol (The Great Sabbath) commemorates the 10th day of Nissan, when the Hebrew slaves took the lambs that they were going to offer for Pesach and tied them up outside their homes, to keep until they offered it on the 14th (Ex. 12:3-6). According to tradition, this was a dangerous thing to do, because Egyptians worshipped sheep, but miraculously, instead of slaughtering the Hebrews, the Egyptians instead fought with each other over whether the Hebrews should be sent away already.

The special haftarah reading for this Shabbat is Malachi 3:4-24. This messianic prophecy regarding the end of days and the return of the prophet Elijah is read at this time because it is believed that Elijah will return at Pesach. This is why we include a cup for him in our seder rituals.

Shabbat Shirah

Unlike the other special Shabbatot, Shabbat Shirah does not have an additional reading, but rather is dictated by the presence of a standard reading. Shabbat Shirah is the Shabbat when we read Parshat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16), which is the Torah portion that includes the Song at the Sea.

Tradition teaches that there are only ten true Songs (Shirot, the plural of Shirah) in the history of the world. These true Songs are not mere melodies; they are expressions of the harmony of creation and mark monumental transitions in history. Another of these Songs appears on the haftarah portion for the week (Judges 4:4-5:31): the Song of Deborah. The Song of Songs is, of course, one of the Ten Songs.

Shabbat Hazon

Shabbat Hazon means “Sabbath of Vision,” and refers to Isaiah’s vision of the destruction of the Temple, which is thehaftarah reading for the week (Isaiah 1:1-27). The Torah reading cycle is structured so that the parshah with this haftarah (Parshat Devarim) will occur on the Shabbat preceding Tisha B’Av, a fast day commemorating the destruction of the Temple.

Shabbat Nachamu

Shabbat Nachamu means “Sabbath of Consolation.” Shabbat Nachamu is the first of seven haftarot starting with the Shabbat after Tisha B’Av and leading up to Rosh Hashanah. These readings are meant to console us after the destruction of the Temple and reassure us that it will be built again. As with Shabbat Hazon, the cycle of Torah readings is structured in such a way that these readings will occur on the appropriate weeks.

Shabbat Shuvah

Shabbat Shuvah literally means “Sabbath of Return,” but it is also a play on the phrase “Shabbat Teshuvah” (Sabbath of Repentance). It is the Shabbat that occurs between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and is a time for reflection leading up to the atonement of Yom Kippur. Shabbat Shuvah has two special haftarah readings, one dealing with the importance of heartfelt repentance (Hosea 14:2-10) and one praising the Creator’s mercy (Micah 7:18-20).


Grab your tambourine, guitar, piano, etc as well as your dancing feet, clapping hands, lovely singing voice then Join us in YAHUDAH (that is to say, Praise and Worship unto ABBA YAHUVEH/YAHWEH, YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH and SHKINYINYAH GLORY ELOHIM Almighty) this “Tu B’Shevat”:


Jeremy Gimbel Song Leading Shabbat Shira





Shira Choir Sings New Song At Bar Mitzvah – מקהלת שירה מבצעת את השיר החדש ׳אם השם לא יבנה בית



(Reference:  and )