Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- DVD or video of the 1998 DreamWorks animated film, The Prince of Egypt, and a media player and monitor
Preparation for Activity
- Preview the film and select a few excerpts that portray Miriam.
- Optional: Read a sermon by Rabbi Barry H. Block, given January 15, 1999, that analyzes Miriam's role as portrayed in The Prince of Egypt.
- Obtain the equipment you need and make sure you know how to play, pause, and fast forward.
Description of Activity
The children will watch pertinent excerpts from the animated film, The Prince of Egypt, to enrich their understanding of Miriam's role in the Exodus story and her resiliency as a quality of her faith.
This activity also helps you guide the children to notice embellishments and interpretations that later generations continue to layer onto the stories of ancient scripture. After showing an excerpt that features Miriam, pause the film and ask participants to identify the differences between this version of the story and others they have read or heard.
In the Jewish faith, stories about biblical stories are called "midrash." Rabbi Barry H. Block has this to say about the film and its portrayal of women in the story:
One of the most important functions of modern Midrash is to find and hear the voices of women, too often silent in the Bible and in ancient interpretations. In The Prince of Egypt, both Moses' sister, Miriam, and his wife, Zipporah, play more significant roles than they do in the Torah... The Prince of Egypt offers us a Miriam who remains consistently active.