Miriam’s Dance Party: A Passover Project


Art plays an important role in Judaism. Artisans are mentioned in the Torah in relation to making beautiful textiles and ritual objects of precious stones and metals for the Tabernacle and Temple. Today, intricate silver ritual items, such as Kiddush cups, Shabbat candlesticks, and hanukkiyot (Hanukkah menorahs), enhance the beauty of our Jewish celebrations, fulfilling the ideal of hiddur mitzvah (beautification of a commandment).

Music and dance are two other examples of hiddur mitzvah. After God split the Sea of Reeds in the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt, Miriam, Moses’s sister, “. . . picked up a hand drum [tambourine], and all the women went out after her in dance with hand drums” (Exodus 15:20).

  1. Create tambourines with your grandchild. Decorate two paper plates, a towel-paper tube, or a toilet-paper tube.
  2. Staple the two paper plates together, leaving a small opening, or staple the tube at one end, leaving the other end open.
  3. Fill with rice or beans.
  4. Staple closed the opening and shake.
  5. Sing or play a Jewish song as you welcome in Shabbat or any Jewish holiday, play your tambourine, and dance for joy!