Eliyahu and Miriam: Hope and Possibility

Haggadah Section: Hallel

We now refill our wine glasses one last time.  We lift up Miriam's cup to honor her leadership, and open the front door to imagine the prophet Elijah joining our seder.

In the Bible, Miriam was bold and brave, saving Moses from death.  She led the Israelites through the Red Sea to dance and celebrate their freedom on the other side.   She provided strong leadership and found sources of water during the wandering in the desert. The Babylonian Talmud teaches, "If it wasn’t for the righteousness of women of that generation, we would not have been redeemed from Egypt."   Miriam's cup symbolizes her courage.  

Elijah was a charismatic prophet who cajoled a disbelieving people to live more harmoniously and equally with one another. Jewish stories imagine Elijah as a harbinger of peace, so we set a place for Elijah at many joyous, hopeful Jewish occasions, such as a baby’s bris and the Passover seder.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי.בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד, עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד.

Eliyahu hanavi Eliyahu hatishbi Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi Bimheirah b’yameinu, yavo eileinu Im mashiach ben-David, Im mashiach ben-David.

Elijah the prophet, the returning, the man of Gilad: return to us speedily, in our days, to redemption.  

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