Cups of the Prophets
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.
Reader: 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,
intersex 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. Smash the binary gender system! A million genders for a
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 an act of courage or resistance that they have done in the
past year, and pours water into the communal cup until it overflows.
You may open the door and turn towards it or step outside and sing. Use
the same melody for ‘Eliyahu Hanavi’ and’ Miriam Hanavia’, below.
Im mashiakh ben David
Im mashiakh bat Sarah
Miriam ha-Neviya, oz v’zimra
Miriam tirkod itanu l’hagdil
Miriam tirkod itanu l’taken et
Hi t’vi’einu elmei ha-yishua
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