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From A Journey of Spirit Transcript

We have to reframe things so that women’s voices are heard.


Devorah the prophet, a woman of fire, her torch in hand
She led the Israelites to victory Barak said, Devorah I cannot fight
unless you are standing right by my side Devorah the prophet,
Devorah a mother in Israel

– everyone!

Arise, arise Devorah
Arise, arise and sing a song
Arise, arise Devorah
Uri, uri dabri shir
Arise, arise Devorah
Arise, arise and sing a song
Arise, arise Devorah
Uri, uri dabri shir
Uri, uri dabri shir

I was doing a sound check and I was singing “Not by Might, Not by Power,” and I was singing, “but by spirit alone shall all men live in peace,” and some woman, I can’t remember who it was, gave a geshrei [shout or cry in Yiddish] from the back of the room and said, “It’s ‘all people.’ You can’t sing ‘all men’ anymore because we’re men and women, and we’re all people. You have to sing ‘people’!” So I realized at that point that she was right. I had to start changing the language, at which point I changed it that night when I did the performance, and I said we’re going to change the lyric and I sang “shall we all live in peace,” and it caught on and we did it.

Not by might, and not by power
By ruach [spirit] alone, shall we all live in peace

From that point on I changed all of my language.

And Miriam the prophet took her timbrel in her hand,
and all the women followed her just as she had planned,
and Miriam raised her voice in song
She sang with praise and might
We’ve just lived through a miracle
We’re going to dance tonight

- So I really want you to sing.

And the women dancing with their timbrels,
followed Miriam as she sang her song,
sing a song to the One whom we’ve exalted,
Miriam and the women danced and danced the whole night long

From A Journey of Spirit, documentary about Debbie Friedman by Ann Coppel.

Credit: Clip from A Journey of Spirit, courtesy of filmmaker Ann Coppel, Ann Coppel Productions, LLC, www.ajourneyofspirit.com.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "From A Journey of Spirit Transcript." (Viewed on December 1, 2020) <https://jwa.org/media/from-journey-of-spirit-transcript>.


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