Of more recent origin is the custom of placing a second cup on the Seder table for a second unseen but deserving guest - the prophetess, Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron.
It was Miriam, the Prophetess, symbol of all the courageous and worthy women who kept the home fires burning, even when the men became discouraged and despaired of redemption. Who then is more deserving to be "toasted" with wine and saluted for service "above and beyond" than she?
If the Cup of Elijah is one symbolizing hope for future redemption, Miriam's Cup symbolizes redemption realized through the tireless efforts of women. Let us honor her for her heroism, and through her, all the brave, capable, devoted, faithful and loyal women of who have been, and continue to be, the ongoing source of strength.
For the sake of our righteous women were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt. L'Chaim!
The women fill Miriam's cup. One reads:
זאת כוס מרים, כוס מיים חיים, זכר ליציאת מצריים
Zot Kos Miryam, kos mayim hayim. Zeikher l'yitziat Mitztrayim.
This is the cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters, in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt.
What do we do on a daily basis that helps bring about our redemption?
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