He made the laver out of copper, and its base out of copper, from the mirrors of the serving women (tzovot) who served at the entrance of the tabernacle. — Ex. 38:8

Miriam was a teacher of women. — Targum Micah 6:4

“Each of you is made in the image of God,” Miriam explained. “Your soul and your speech are like God’s, and your body is God’s dwelling place. Each of you embodies the Divine presence in a different way. When you look into your mirror, you see a woman, bu you also see the Divine image. If a man were to look into your mirror, he would see a man, but he would also see God. This is what the Torah means when it says: God created the adam in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God is like the mirror: God remains the same, but reflects each of our images differently, men and women, young and old. This is why, when we study together, we can reveal different facets of the Torah to each other. Each of us is different reflection of the One.”

…They made a covenant with one another to return again and again to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to pray, to study and see the their faces in the basin made form their mirrors. And in that company Miriam was often heard to teach: On account of the one God’s many images is the Eternal called Adonai Tze’vaot, Lord of Hosts; and some say, Adonai Tzovot, God of the women who serve the Divine dwelling-place.
— Jill Hammer, “The Mirror”

This midrash can be found in All the Women Followed Her (see Source Materials for details) and in Sisters at Sinai.

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Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
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Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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