Miriam’s cup, a twentieth century addition to some Passover seders, recognizes the often silent and unnoticed role of women in the Passover story. Miriam’s cup is filled with water in remembrance of the well of water that followed the Israelites through the desert as a reward for Miriam’s courage and dedication. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, they represent one of the fastest growing segments of the prison population, realizing an 800% increase over the last three decades. The war on drugs has had a particularly devastating impact on women, with drug offenses constituting half of their increase in the prison population. This is despite the fact that women are less likely than men to play a central role in the drug trade. As we fill Miriam’s cup tonight, we remember the particularly negative impact the war on drugs has had on women.
(Each participant pours a small amount of water from their cup into Miriam’s cup)
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