The rabbis at our temple taught us that the Passover tradition is always changing and adding new things. We are starting to see cups for Miriam at the table. They can be something fancy, or just a nice wine glass, which is empty at the beginning of the seder. A small pitcher of plain water should be placed near Miriam’s cup.
Therefore, before the first cup of wine at the Seder, lift up Miriam’s Cup and recite:
Miriam not only watched, while hidden, baby Moses to make sure he was delivered safely into the arms of the Egyptian princess, but she also revealed to the adult Moses that he was a member of the Jewish people. According to tradition, God provided Miriam with a moving well as a reward for her wisdom and caring.
In the years of wandering in the desert, Miriam’s well went with the Israelites. It is said that Miriam’s well is still with us. Every Saturday night, at the end of Shabbat, its waters flow out into wells everywhere in the world. While the return of Elijah is left to the future and all its potential, Miriam is present with us always. She is here to provide healing, inspiration, and wisdom. She and her waters sustain us as we await Elijah. She lifts up our hearts as she leads us once again in song and dance.
Elijah’s cup remains untouched by us, but now we are uplifted by Miriam’s cup with the nurturing waters of Miriam’s well.
Baruh atah adonay eloheynu meleh ha’olam shehakol nihyeh bidvaro.
Praise are you, Eternal One our God, sovereign of all worlds, who creates all things.
Everyone pours a bit of the water from the small pitcher into Miriam’s Cup, or you can select your daughter to represent everyone at the seder to pour the water into Miriam’s Cup, to encourage her to continue the seder tradition when she has her own family.
Adapted from A Night of Questions – A Passover Haggadah -2000
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