1. Although Miriam is not mentioned by name in this first source, the daughter described is identified as her by almost all of the commentators.
2. The first time Miriam is actually mentioned by name in the text
Miriam's Cup, Miriamscup.com
Miriam’s Cup originated in a Boston Rosh Chodesh group in the late 1980’s. Based on the Legend of Miriam’s Well, Stephanie Loo created a new ritual. A member of the group led a guided meditation during which women gained inspiration and renewal from the Mayim Chayyim (Living Waters) of Miriam’s well, and the group drank from a special vessel called Kos Miriam (The Cup of Miriam).
Members of the group found the ritual so empowering that they adopted the idea of using Kos Miriam on Shabbat. The idea of using Kos Miriam at the Passover Seder was a natural progression because of Miriam’s central role in the Exodus story.
A Midrash teaches us that a miraculous well accompanied the Hebrews throughout their journey in the desert, given by God because of the merit of Miriam, the prophetess. Miriam’s optimism and faith also was a spiritual oasis, giving the Hebrews the confidence to overcome the hardships of the Exodus.
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.
Yehi ratzon milfanecha, adonai eloheinu, velohei avoteinu v'imoteinu, borei ha'olam: shetishm'reinu ut'kaymeinu bamidbar chayeinu im mayim chayim. V'titen lanu et hachizzuk v'et hachomchah l'daat she'tzmichat geulateinu nimtza baderekh chayim lo rak b'sof haderekh.
"You abound in blessings, God, creator of the universe, Who sustains us with living water. May we, like the children of Israel leaving Egypt, be guarded and nurtured and kept alive in the wilderness, and may You give us wisdom to understand that the journey itself holds the promise of redemption." (from Rabbi Susan Shnur)
Each Passover, we dedicate Miriam's cup to a Jewish woman who has made important contributions in achieving equality and freedom for others. This year, we honor. . .
Miriam's life is a contrast to the life of Elijah. Elijah was a hermit, who spent part of his life alone in the desert. He was a visionary and prophet, often very critical of the Jewish people, and focused on the world to come. On the other hand, Miriam lived among her people in the desert, constantly encouraging them throughout their long journey. Therefore, Elijah's cup is a symbol of future messianic redemption, while Miriam's cup is a symbol of hope and renewal in the present life. We must achieve balance in our own lives, not only preparing our souls for redemption, but rejuvenating our souls in the present. Thus, we need both Elijah's cup and Miriam's cup at our Seder table.