“Spring Up, O Well!”

Today is Blog Action Day 2010. The theme is WATER.

I could write about so many things, but once again, the day is almost over and I find myself running out of time. Nevertheless, I have thought of little else this day except what I would write about when at last I got a moment to sit down at my computer.

The world’s environment is in such disarray. As humans we can live for much longer without food than we can without water. Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from the lack of unsafe drinking water.  I thank the Holy One that I live in a community where drinking water is not only clean and safe, but it is plentiful. Yet, the question pounding in my head is – What would Miriam do?

According to our midrash, Miriam, the prophetess, was blessed to have a well of water that followed her wherever she traveled  throughout the Israelite’s wanderings in the desert. All she had to do was say, “Spring up, o well!” and a well of clean fresh water would appear.  Many people commemorate this miracle by having a special goblet – a Miriam’s Cup – on their Seder table during their Passover seder.  There is a special prayer that accompanies the use of Miriam’s Cup:

Zot Kos Miryam, kos mayim chayim. Zeicher l’tzi-at Mitztrayim.

This is the Cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters. Let us remember the Exodus from Egypt. These are the living waters, God’s gift to Miriam, which gave new life to Israel as we struggled with ourselves in the wilderness.

Blessed are You God, Who brings us from the narrows into the wilderness, sustains us with endless possibilities, and enables us to reach a new place.

“Miriam’s Cup blessing” Copyright 1996 (Matia Rania Angelou, Janet Berkenfield, Stephanie Loo). Kol Ishah, PO Box 132, Wayland, MA, 01778

Tonight, as my family and I  bless the Shabbat candles, say Kiddush over the grape juice and thank the Holy One for the bread that graces our table, we are also going to raise Miriam’s Cup and thank God for the water that we drink every day. We will pray that wells will spring up all over the world so that children will have as much clean water as they need when they need it.

Ken yehi ratzon – May it be God’s will.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

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