By placing a cup of wine on the seder table and opening the door after our festive meal we recognize the legend that the prophet Elijah visits every seder table to announce the coming of redemption. The cup of Elijah is a symbol of hope that the world, now broken, will one day be healed, and that all people can play a role in that redemption.
By placing a cup of water on the seder table we rememberMiriam the prophet, who legend says danced at the Sea of Reeds to celebrate the Exodus. It is said that a well of fresh water followed her in the desert so the Jewish people always had water to drink.
Where Elijah represents the movement of history and path to redemption, Miriam represents ongoing healing, renewal and sustenance. Elijah is time, Miriam is place. Elijah is the mountain, Miriam is the sea.
Let us open the door for Elijah and sing: Eiliyahu Hanavi, Eliahu hatishbi, Eliahu, Eliahu, Eliahu hagiladi. Bimhera biyamenu, yavo aylenu, Im Mashiach ben David, Im Mashiach ben David.
For Miriam, we lift our water glasses and say: Zot be’er Miriam, kos mayim chayim. This is the well of Miriam, the cup of living waters.
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