I haven’t posted in a while, but here’s some thought vomit for y’all. A summary of what’s been happening in my brain of late.
I’m going back on the idea of saying Avot V’imahot all the time. It doesn’t make grammatical sense. Avot means Avot V’imahot already. Possible alternatives:
1. Just say Avot
2. Horim (parents, but is that just a Modern Hebrew thing?)
3. Dorot (makes larger implications about not just previous generations, but includes this generation and generations to come. Is that even a problem?)
I’m taking Miryam back out of my G’ulah. I actually arrived at this conclusions while thinking about Kos L’Miryam, Miraym’s Cup, a modern addition to the seder. (For those who have never experienced a seder with this cup, it is a cup of water in honor of Miraym’s well.) The idea is to become inclusive and put a female character on the same level as Mosheh, I suppose. But, that’s a problem for me.
Mosheh is an extraordinary character. To set Miryam up on the same level is absurd. Rather than artificially pumping up female characters, shouldn’t we begin to recognize female characters who have made significant contributions? Where are D’vorah and Yehudit and other strong female characters? I don’t mean where are they in the seder. Obviously they’re unrelated, but so is Miryam’s well! The well has nothing to do with the Exodus and everything to do with wandering in the desert, a topic with which the seder is not concerned.
Mosheh is a big deal character, yet he only gets one line of text in the Hagadah referring to him. If he only gets one line, how disingenuous are we to the text if we create a whole new item for the table settings to represent Miryam.
And I leave you with this: There are supposed to be two cooked dishes on the seder plate, now usually a lamb shank and an egg, to represent the two types of sacrifices that were to be given on Pesach. My People’s Passover Haggadah, Vol. 1 has this to say on page 39:
“Sheira Gaon (Gaon of Pumbedita, 986-1006) noted a custom of including a third symbolic cooked food—in addition to the chank bone and egg—“in memory of Miriam, as it says, ‘I brought you from the Land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage, as I sent you before Moses, Aaron, and Miriam’” (Mic. 6:4).
There you go. Some brain vomit to chew on.