At this point in the Seder we fill our third cup in honor of two prophets. The first is Elijah, the prophet whose tradition holds visits every Passover Seder and will one day usher in the messianic time of peace and coexistence. In addition to Elijah, we also celebrate the prophet, Miriam, at our Seder. Like most religions, Judaism developed within a patriarchal society. Men recorded and interpreted religious law and wrote the traditional prayers. Remembering the symbol of Miriam’s Well, which was the source of water for the Israelites in the desert, help us to focus our attention on the missing female voices in the Passover story and forge a Jewish religious identity consistent with feminist values.
One tradition suggests that each person is responsible for helping to bring Elijah’s idyllic vision to fruition. As we focus tonight on creating a culture free from sexual violence in the media, in our relationship, and in our institutions, let us each pour some of our juice into the cup of Elijah & Miriam on our table as a pledge to each do our part in building a more just society. Elijah and Miriam, a man and woman, were both strong leaders for the Israelites. Having one cup to honor them both shows the leadership potential of both men and women and breaks the gender stereotypes that men are more powerful than women.
We now pass around Elijah & Miriam’s Cup, and each person should pour two drops of their juice into it. As we do so, everyone can sing Eliyahu Hanavi
אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,
בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ
עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד
Eliyahu Hanavie, Eliyahu Hatishbi,
Bimherah Yavo Elenu
Im Mashiach Ben David.
Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite,
Elijah the Giladite,
May he soon come to us,
with Mashiach the son of David.
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