Miriam’s cup, filled with water, is a symbol of Miriam’s Well, the source of water that nourished the Israelites as they wandered in the desert, and draws attention to the women of the Exodus story.
As the Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). story begins we read that a new king arose over Egypt—a king who did not know Jacob's eldest son by his beloved wife, Rachel. Joseph, the dreamer, was his father's favorite and nearly murdered by his brothers. Sold into slavery, he became viceroy of Egypt where he ultimately saves the Egyptians and also his own family from starvation. His Hebrew name is Yosef/. (Exodus 1:8)
A new king arose who did not know empathy, who was not interested in seeking understanding. A new King arose who demonized others and ruled through intimidation, oppression and fear.
The book of Exodus tells us that, as this new king took power, there also arose strong courageous women who would not be intimidated by his threats and brutality.
The midwives, Shifra is one of the two Hebrew midwives mentioned in Exodus 1 who refuses Pharaoh's orders to kill the boy children, instead enabling them to live. She, along with her partner Puah, is instrumental in beginning the process leading to the Exodus. Shifra is often identified as Jochebed, Moses' mother. and Puah, like Shifra, is one of the Hebrew midwives mentioned in Exodus 1 who defies Pharaoh's orders to kill the boy babies. This first act of defiance was instrumental in leading to the Israelite exodus from Egypt. Puah is often identified in the midrash with Miriam, Moses' older sister., were instructed by the Pharaoh to kill all the male children born to Hebrew women. Risking their lives, the midwives defied these orders and made sure the children lived.
The daughter of Pharaoh, refusing to let hatred or fear determine her actions, saved the life of a young Hebrew boy and raised him to adulthood.
Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. As Moses' and Aaron's sister she, according to midrash, prophesies Moses' role and helps secure it by watching over the young baby, seeing to it that Pharaoh's daughter takes him and that the baby is returned to his mother for nursing. During the Israelites' trek through the desert, a magical well given on her behalf travels with the Israelites, providing water, healing, and sustenance., not letting herself be intimidated into submission by oppressive laws, stood on the shores of the sea and made sure that her younger brother would be safe from harm.
Let us raise our cups and honor women whose strength, courage, and love changed us and the world.