Miriam's Cup: A Passover Story

by Fran Manushkin

Other authorsBob Dacey (Illustrator)
Book, 1998



Call number

E 244 MAN



New York : Scholastic, 1998.


A Jewish mother preparing for Passover tells her young children the story of Miriam, the Biblical woman who prophesied the birth of Moses.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
A contemporary young girl named Miriam learns the story of the biblical prophet for whom she is named in this lovely holiday picture-book, one which focuses on the female experience of the Passover and Exodus stories. Gifted with a vision at the age of six, Miriam convinces her father Amran to
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remarry his wife Jocheved - all the Hebrew slaves in Egypt having divorced their wives, in response to the Pharaoh's declaration that he intends to kill their sons - prophesying that the babe her mother will soon bear will eventually set their people free. When her baby brother Moses is set adrift in the bull-rushes and found by Pharaoh's daughter, Miriam is there to suggest Jocheved (his true mother) as a nursemaid. While the Hebrew people slave away, making bricks for the Pharaoh, Miriam's songs bring them comfort and hope. And when they finally leave Egypt and slavery behind, her dancing and celebration lead them closer to God, just as the miraculous well which follows her through the desert sustains them.

Drawing upon a variety of sources, from biblical passages to midrashim (rabbinic commentary on the Bible) and aggadot (rabbinic literature that often incorporates folklore), Fran Manushkin spins an engrossing tale of an important figure in the Passover story. As someone who grew up reading Bible stories, I was already very familiar with the tale of Moses in the bull-rushes, and with the parting of the Red Sea for the fleeing Israelites. I was not as familiar, however, with the role of Miriam in the story, and was consequently glad to have that part of the tale emphasized here. Apparently Jewish feminists have embraced Miriam, and have begun a new Passover tradition, in which Miriam's cup - meant to symbolize her miraculous, life-giving well - is placed on the Seder table beside the prophet Elijah's cup. It's a lovely idea, and this is a lovely book. The engaging story is paired with beautiful watercolor artwork from Bob Dacey, and a song celebrating Miriam is reproduced on the back cover. Recommended to young readers looking for Passover fare, and to anyone interested in the story of Miriam.
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LibraryThing member Kathdavis54
Miriam was named for a great prophet in Jewish history. One Passover night her parents tell her the story of her namesake. This was a beautiful, traditional story that families could enjoy together.
LibraryThing member memaldonado
Miriam’s Cup is about a family who honors a girl named Miriam who lives in Egypt. She helps her father realize that he should remarry her mom. The father leaves the mother because pharaoh ordered all of the baby boys of the Israelites to be killed. The father divorces the mother because he does
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not want to have any more children, but Miriam tells him that he is worse than Pharaoh. Once the father remarries the mother, they have a baby named Moses, and Moses is sent in a basket through a river to one of pharaoh’ s daughters. Miriam’s dad thanks her because she insisted that her father remarried her mother, and Moses grows up with the Egyptians. Moses frees the Israelites from slavery. There are so many traditions and rituals that Jewish people have, and I am beginning to learn more. The story was wonderful because Miriam is such a brave person, and I would love to honor her as well. By reading this book I learned a little more about the Jewish community, and I want to keep on reading about their traditions. For students, I would explain to them what Passover is, and assign them to write how they feel about the book.
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LibraryThing member Melody.Ryan
The book was a very condensed version of the story of passover but had a focus on Miriam’s part in saving the Israelites and why we have her cup on the table during the Seder. I thought the book did a good job condensing the book but not leaving out the unpleasant parts such as the plague of
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killing the first born child.
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0590677209 / 9780590677202

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