In the ninth century B.C.E., a farmer arose to challenge the domination of the ruling elite. In his tireless and passionate advocacy on behalf of the common people, and his ceaseless exposure of the corruption and waste of the court, Elijah sparked a movement and created a legend which would inspire people for generations to come.
Before he died, Elijah declared that he would return once each generation in the guise of any poor or oppressed person, coming to people’s doors to see how he would be treated. By the treatment offered this poor person, who would be Elijah himself, he would know whether the population had reached a level of humanity making them capable of participating in the dawn of the Messianic age.
The story has always been told of a miraculous well of living water which has accompanied the Jewish people since the world was spoken into being. The well comes and goes, as it is needed, and as we remember, forget, and remember again how to call it to us. In the time of the exodus from Mitzrayim, the well came to Miriam, in honor of her courage and action, and stayed with the Jews as they wandered the desert. Upon Miriam’s death, the well again disappeared.
All: With this ritual of Miriam’s cup, we honor all Jewish women, transgender, and queer people whose histories have been erased. We commit ourselves to transforming all of our cultures into loving welcoming spaces for people of all genders and sexes.
Reader: Tonight we remember Miriam and ask: Who on own journey has been a way-station for us? Who has encouraged our thirst for knowledge? To whom do we look as role-models for our daughters and for ourselves? Who sings with joy at our accomplishments?
Each person names a mentor or role model whose acts of love and/or courage inspires and guides them, and pours water into the communal cup until it overflows.
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