Traditionally, at the seder, we heard about the four sons: the wicked, the wise, the simple, and the one who does not know how to ask. Tonight we hear four daughters speak:
The wise daughter understands Klal Israel, the people of Israel, are one and united across the world. She reaches out to friends in a global expression of Jewish continuity. The wise daughter seeks to reunite with those for whom Passover might be a new experience, to teach and pass on traditions, old and new. She seeks to understand the unique challenges Jewish women face in Israel, the former Soviet Union, and other emerging nations.
The angry daughter feels disconnected from her religion and customs. She seeks to distance herself from a community that has nothing to contribute to her life. We must listen to the angry daughter, feel her pain, and guide her back to Judaism with love and caring.
The inquiring daughter burns with curiosity and the desire to learn: "Who? What? When? Why? she asks, turning to her teachers and mentors, both young and old for inspiration and knowledge.
Unable to Ask
The fourth daughter never asked the question, for in questioning, her life was endangered and her voice silenced by oppression and fear. To the fourth daughter, we offer the process: of asking, learning, feeling, and experimenting to find her voice. She can then ask the questions for her generation and those who follow.
Each of us is each of these daughters: the wise, angry, inquiring, and the one who never asked. All of these women are welcome at our seder.
From Project Kesher's Second Global Women's Pre-Passover Seder, March 24, 1996. Used with permission.