On the table is a cup filled with water known as Miriam’s Cup, in honor of the prophetess Miriam. We place Miriam's Cup on our Seder table to honor the important role of Jewish women in our tradition, our history, and our lives.
But why do we fill Miriam's cup with water and not wine?
We fill Miriam’s Cup with water to symbolize Miriam’s Well, the source of water for the Jews during their journey through the desert.
God gave Miriam the well to honor her bravery and devotion to the Jewish people. Both Miriam and her well were spiritual oases in the desert, and sources of sustenance and healing. We fill Miriam's cup with water to honor her role in ensuring the survival of the Jewish people. Like Miriam, Jewish women in all generations have been essential for the continuity of our people.
We recite the following prayer in honor of Miriam:
"You abound in blessings, God, Creator of the universe, Who sustains us with living water. May we, like children of Israel leaving Egypt, be guarded and nurtured and kept alive in the wilderness, and may You give us wisdom to understand that the journey itself holds the promise of redemption.” (Rabbi Susan Schnur)
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