The ritual of Miriam’s Cup has emerged as another way to honor women during the seder. Miriam’s Cup builds upon the message of the orange, transforming the seder into an empowering and inclusive experience. 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. The rabbis attribute to Miriam the miraculous well that traveled with the Israelites throughout their wandering in the desert that ensured their survival. In the Book of Numbers, the well dries up immediately following Miriam’s death. Of course, water played a role in Miriam’s life from the first time we meet her, watching over the infant Moses on the Nile, through her triumphant crossing of the Red Sea.
Raise Miriam’s empty goblet and say:
Miriam's cup is filled with water, rather than wine. I invite women and men of all generations at our Seder table to fill Miriam's cup with water from their own glasses.
Pass Miriam's cup around the table and have everyone fill it with a little water from his or her own cup.
Like Miriam, Jewish women in all generations have been essential for the continuity of our people. As keepers of traditions in the home, women passed down songs and stories, rituals and recipes, from mother to daughter, from generation to generation. Let us each fill the cup of Miriam with water from our own glasses, so that our daughters may continue to draw from the strength and wisdom of our heritage.
When Miriam's cup is filled, raise the goblet and say:
We place Miriam's cup on our Seder table to honor the important role of Jewish women in our tradition and history, whose stories have been too sparingly told.
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