(Reader should raise the empty water glass in the center of the table.)
Miriam's Cup is a newer object that is placed on the Seder table beside the Cup of Elijah to represent her importance -- and the importance of many women -- in the Passover story. Miriam's Cup is filled with water, rather than wine, to symbolize the well that was said to have followed Miriam throughout the desert and served as the main source of water during the Jews' 40 years of wandering. To emphasize the importance of Miriam's contribution to the story of Passover, everyone at the Seder table should fill her cup with a little water from their own water glass.
Pass the glass around so that each person can pour some of their water into Miriam's cup.
Filling Miriam's Cup is also a way of drawing 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). In Exodus, God has many partners, including five brave women. There is Yocheved, Moses’ mother, who chooses to let her son, Moses, live; and Shifra and Puah, the Hebrew midwives who defy the Pharaoh's order to kill the first born sons of the Jews. Then there is Miriam, Moses’ sister, who ensures her brother's survival. Finally, there is Pharaoh’s daughter Batya, who defies her own father and plucks baby Moses out of the Nile. 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.
Everyone take a sip of water from their own water glass!
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