בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam boreh p’ri ha-gafen.
Blessed is the Source, who fills all creation and brings forth the fruit of the vine.
With the ongoing national economic struggles, many have become more aware of existing economic inequalities. Maryland just passed laws to move to a minimum wage of $15 but it will be implemented over a series of years (by 2025).
At this point in the Seder, we open the doors to welcome Elijah the Prophet. This special cup of wine is for Eliyahu Hanavi, Elijah the Prophet, a friend of the poor and the oppressed. According to tradition, Elijah appears as a poor man to see if he will be accepted and well-treated. This cup reminds us to make a commitment to open our homes and our time to those who are in need.
We find a second cup filled with water, in honor of Miriam, Moses’ sister. According to midrash (rabbinic legend), as long as Miriam was alive, a well of water followed the Israelites through the wilderness. In the biblical story of the exodus, after the people have safely crossed the Sea of Reeds, Miriam leads the women in songs of praise.
According to the midrash, Sh’mot Rabbah 1:12,
it was “by the merit of the women” that the Jews
were redeemed from slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh
decreed that the Israelite men should sleep in
the fields and not at home. With this law,
Pharaoh hoped both to increase the slaves’
productivity (by eliminating commuting time) and
to stop the Jews from procreating.
However, the midrash says that the women used
to go out to the fields at night, seduce their
husbands, and become pregnant. The women
would then give birth secretly and hide the
babies from the Egyptians. In the Bible, women such as the midwives Shifra and Puah, and Moses’ mother and sister, Yocheved and
Miriam, play crucial roles in defying Pharaoh’s orders to kill all newborn Jewish boys.
With Miriam’s Cup, we celebrate women’s past and present leadership in social justice
movements and rededicate ourselves to working toward the liberation of all women.
Eliyahu haNavi / Miriam haNeviyah
Elijah the prophet, come soon to us, heralding the messianic era.
Miriam the prophet, strength and song in her hand
Dance with us to increase worldly song
Dance with us to fix the world
She will soon bring us to the waters of redemption
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