We begin our journey through the Pesach seder, our journey from slavery to freedom.  Through word and song, story and ritual, questions and more questions, we will relive the story of our ancestors' exodus and liberation.

We tell the story not only to preserve the memory.  We tell the story because Egypt is not only one physical place.  The Exodus was not just one moment in time.

We step into this story because it is both our story and the story of all people who have experienced oppression and liberation.  When we recall the story of our oppression, we resolve to fight oppression everywhere.  When we recall the story of our liberation, we renew our dream for freedom everywhere.

Tonight, we raise our voices as individuals and members of this seder community committed to marching together out of Egypt.

Place Miriam's Cup, filled with spring water, on the seder table.

Even as we begin our story, we know its "end."  Israel will leave Egypt and wander the desert for forty years on the way to the promised land.  According to legend, a well of water accompanied the Israelites on their journey in the desert.

This miraculous well was provided because of the merit of Miriam, the sister of Moses.  She watched over her brother as he floated down the Nile, and later joined with him to lead the people across the sea.  Tonight, we recall the well of water as we place Miriam's cup on our seder table.

In every generation, we experience both oppression and liberation.  In our wanderings, both as a people and as individuals, Miriam's well still accompanies us as a sustaining presence in the desert, enabling us not just to survive, but to thrive.

Miriam's well remind us that our journey has both direction and destination - to a place where freedom is proclaimed for all.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah (ISBN-10: 0935457496)