Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two Cups: Elijah and Miriam

We open the door for Elijah,
Angry prophet of the world to come.
And we ask God to pay attention
To the fire from the sky that was Elijah’s gift,
A regretted necessity.
Elijah announces the Mashiach
Who then saves the Jews!  Huzzah!!
Elijah, the angry bringer of justice.
It’s a little scary
So invite that in.
Bring down the anger, bring down the plagues
Sometimes we need them,
It’s part of the story.
We were slaves in Egypt and it was horrible.

But 
If there is a child at the table
Let her open the door for visiting Uncle Elijah
And hope that there’s some wind tonight.
And when it blows
Tell her that’s Elijah as he comes inside
Visiting each Jewish home on Pesach
To have his cup of wine.
And when the child sits back down
Jiggle the table just a little
And tell her to watch the wine shake in the cup
So the kid thinks Elijah is there, taking a sip:
The anger will wait, let's have fun.

We lift Miriam’s cup,

Dancing prophet
Of the world that glories in Now.
And we tell God we are grateful
For the water that was Miriam’s gift,
A welcome necessity.
Miriam announces joy!
And teaches us to save ourselves.
Miriam, the bringer of mercy,
There’s no prayer for her in the haggadah--
So make one up!
It’s a little scary
But what the heck.
Bring up the water, start the party
Sometimes we need it
And it’s part of the story:
We were slaves in Egypt and now we are free.

But
If there is a child at the table
And all the gabbing makes him thirsty,
Let him take a sip from Miriam’s cup.
And while he drinks
Tell him about Miriam the artist
Singing Mi-Hamochah on the Red Sea shore,
Taking too much pleasure in the Egyptian's deaths.
And when the child is ready
Remember that Miriam was a truth teller
And for that the prophet paid a heavy price.
Make sure the kid values that water:
The fun will wait, let's get angry.

Fire and Water,
Justice and Mercy,
Tzedek v’ Rachamim.
The cup of wine to stir the flame,
The cup of water to quench it.
Only with both cups are we complete.

Baruch Atah Adonai,
Brucha At Shechinah
Elijah and Miriam
We are blessed this Pesach night.
Amen.

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