Photo courtesy of the Pucker-Safrai Gallery, Boston, MA

ON THE COVER: “Then Miriam the prophet … took timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her …” (Exodus 15:12). These words introduce a song of victory and thanksgiving to God after the Israelites survived the perilous Reed Sea crossing. Revered by her people, Miriam was a leader whose original stature was compromised by the Bible’s editors, Phyllis Trible affirms in “Bringing Miriam out of the Shadows.”

The work of contemporary Israeli artist Shraga Weil, “Miriam” is a detail from a ceiling painting at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Decorating the Israel lounge, which adjoins the Kennedy Center’s concert hall, Weil’s ceiling displays a complex panorama of scenes celebrating musical themes from the Bible.