Although Miriam, a prophet and the sister of Moses, is never mentioned in the traditional Haggadah text, she is 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. After the Exodus when the Jews were wandering through the desert, legend says that a well of water followed Miriam so the Jews always had water to drink.

The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and the spirit of all women leaders. We place a glass of water on the table as a way to bring her story, the story of all women, back into the narrative of our history, as well as an expression of our commitment to listen to the voices of women –all women: trans, Muslim, young or old, women with disabilities, poor women, Latin women, Asian, Black, Arab, Jewish, queer, multiracial, undocumented immigrant women, homeless, incarcerated, and all those whose voices have gone unheard and whose power will be unleashed.

haggadah Section: Hallel