As women, we still know the shackles of oppression all too well. In modern society, we still experience the exploitation of women and girls in our workplaces, medical facilities, and even governing bodies. By allowing this oppression to continue, we fail to recognize the holiness and moral agency present in all of God’s children.
This set of readings was formulated in order to highlight and celebrate Miriam’s role in the deliverance from slavery and her leadership throughout the wandering in the wilderness. When the seder table is set, we place an empty cup alongside Elijah’s cup. Each attendee at the seder then pours a bit of his or her water into the cup. This contribution symbolizes that, at every stage of her life, Miriam was integral in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. We pour water, specifically, because it plays a recurring role in the Exodus – the rescue of Moshe, the first plague in Egypt when the water was turned to blood, the parting of the Red Sea, and so on.