Along with the cup for the Prophet Elijah, we have a cup for the Prophetess Miriam, sister of Moses, one of the central figures in the Exodus story. Miriam has long been associated with water – she watched over Moses when he was placed in the Nile River and provided the Israelites with life-sustaining water during their wandering in the desert. The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and draw attention to the importance of the other women of the Exodus story who have sometimes been overlooked but about whom our tradition says, "If it wasn't for the righteousness of women of that generation we would not have been redeemed from Egypt" (Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 9b).
זאת כּוֹס ִמריָם, כּוֹס ַמיִם ַחיִּים זֵכר ִליציאַת ִמצריִם
Zot kos Miryam, cos mayim chayim zecher litziat Mitzrayim.
This is the cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters, a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt.
Let us remember the Exodus from Egypt. These are the living waters, God’s gift to Miriam, which gave new life to Israel as we struggled with ourselves in the wilderness. Blessed are You God, Who brings us from the narrows into the wilderness, sustains us with endless possibilities, and enables us to reach a new place.
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