The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Miriam’s Cup

Posted in holidays, rituals by Juliet on April 7, 2010

In honor of the end of Passover, I will share this new tradition. Miriam’s Cup describes it like this:

Filling Miriam’s Cup follows the second cup of wine, before washing the hands.

Raise the empty goblet and say:
Miriam’s cup is filled with water, rather than wine. I invite women 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.

The site traces the ritual back to the 1980s, to a women’s Rosh Chodesh group. They created a Miriam’s Cup ritual for shabbat and later extended it to Passover.

Here is how they explain the significance of filling Miriam’s cup with water:

A Midrash teaches us that a miraculous well accompanied the Hebrews throughout their journey in the desert, providing them with water. This well was given by God to Miriam, the prophetess, to honor her bravery and devotion to the Jewish people. Both Miriam and her well were spiritual oases in the desert, sources of sustenance and healing. Her words of comfort gave the Hebrews the faith and confidence to overcome the hardships of the Exodus. We fill Miriam’s cup with water to honor her role in ensuring the survival of the Jewish people. 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.

We had a kos Miriyam for the first time this year because Morah Heidi told me about it and our new haggadahs included it. I look forward to incorporating it in our seders for years to come.

I hope you had a wonderful Pesach. Now go enjoy a big bagel!