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Lilith Feature

Passover, Kaleidoscopically

Passover is full of fours: four questions, four sons [sic], four cups of Manischewitz. In these pages, we go one better because feminists have added much to the mix, and many of the additions were conceived right here at Lilith: honoring four daughters, creating Miriam’s Cup, acknowledging the perils of running a seder for the first time, eating disorders at a time of feasting, and more. (Visit Lilith.org for our rich archive of Passover stories.)

Lilith commissioned the first material Kos Miriam [Miriam’s Cup] from the artist Nissan Graham-Mayk in 1992. Opening the door for Elijah is ages old, but opening the door to women’s experience of Passover — its narratives, its observance, its blessings — feels thrillingly confirmed when we see the original Miriam’s Cup now in the collection of the Jewish Museum in New York. This ritual heralded the stampeding, door-breaking arrival of Jewish women into the seder liturgy — after only 3200 years.

We bring you a new set of Passover stories now, so that you, Lilith’s careful readers, will have time in advance of the holiday not only to metabolize these writers’ insights, but to transform them into something that’s your own. “Kol ha-marbeh lesaper, ha-ray zeh meh’shubach,” the Hagaddah enjoins. “All who amplify the Passover story are deserving of praise.” A fifth cup to that.

What follows are largely meditations on Time, a specialty of Passover: the past, the future, and the eternal present. Plus: a teaching about Elijah’s hypermasculinity and a new ritual that links adopted children’s journeys to that of Moses (who famously had two mothers). Jewish women are so grateful to have Passover as a holiday. Enjoy.

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