It is customary to fill a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah, who in messianic literature will announce the coming of the messiah so we open the door for him to enter and usher in an age of peace and harmony.
At our seder we have two cups at the center. One is for Elijah, and the other for Miriam. We fill Miriam's cup with water, to remember the well that followed Miriam through the desert after crossing the Red Sea and keeping the Israelites from dying of thirst. Miriam represents the long history of women's contributions to Judaism and to the world that are often overshadowed or silenced in favor of the stories of men. There are many midrashic examples of women's leadership, from the women marching forward into the Red Sea to make the waters part to the women refusing to take part in the creation of the golden calf. These are stories that don't make it into the final editing of the Bible, but are added later as the rabbis felt them to be important.
In our lives we seek to bring forward those stories of women's leadership. These are the stories that are not told as often, but as essential to histories. We must uncover, listen to, and reflect on these often untold stories.
Let Miriam stand as the prophet of equality and freedom for all.
Originally contributed by Addie Davidove
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