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. Miriam's cup is filled 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: the International Women's Day strike that launched the Russian Revolution, the brilliance of Rosa Luxembourg and contributions of Nadezhda Krupskaya, and the many strikes led and carried out by women workers. Those are the stories not as often told, but as essential to our struggle against capitalism as the stories of male workers. We must put those stories on the table, open our Marxist agitation to women who often get marginalized in our ranks, and fight for the liberation of all people.

We cannot have sexism and patriarchy without class society. Let Miriam stand as the prophet of true equality and freedom for all.

haggadah Section: Hallel