Leader: Where are the daughters of Sarah?

Reader: Sarah, the matriarch, is the mother of all Jewish women, for the line of the covenant is traced through her flesh. A woman of wisdom and beauty, she was a priestess in her own right. Perhaps more than anything else, Sarah is remembered for her laughter. In this way, she teaches us to take note of all the joys of life. 

All: All Jewish women, everywhere--we are Sarah's daughters.

Leader Are Miriam’s daughters here?

Reader:  Miriam led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and danced at the shores of the sea. Sister of Moses and Aaron, she was a prophetess, a leader, and a great musician. Miriam inspires us to celebrate our victories, despite the bitter oppression we have endured.

All:  Every Jewish woman who raises her voice or instrument in song and music, or who moves her body in dance and celebration, - we are Miriam’s daughters.

Leader: The daughters of Ruth: Where are they?

Reader:  Ruth, a Moabite who married into an Israelite family, followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to the Land of Israel after the death of her husband. Hers was a free choice to follow a woman she loved. Ruth told Naomi, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” 

All: Every woman who chooses to follow other women, out of loyalty or out of love – we are Ruth’s daughters.

Leader: Esther’s daughters: Are they with us?

Reader: Esther was a Persian Jew who found herself suddenly in a position of power when she was chosen to become the wife of King Ahashuerus. She could have enjoyed her status as a beauty queen and lived a life of leisure in the palace. But when the Jews were endangered by Haman, she risked her life to save her people. Esther’s bravery enabled the Persian Jewish community to survive and thrive for thousands of years.

All: Every woman who has rebelled against the stereotype of women as sex symbols or Jewish princesses, every woman who has taken a stand for her political beliefs – we are Esther’s daughters.

Leader: Are Doña Gracia Nasi’s daughters here?

Reader: Doña Gracia Nasi was born into a marrano family shortly after the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal. Widowed as a young woman, she fled the Spanish Inquisition. As she moved from Portugal to Antwerp to Venice to Constantinople, she also helped other Jews escape through an “underground railroad.”

All: Every woman who has succeeded on her own or who has had to deny some part of herself to survive, every woman whose bravery helped others survive – we are Doña Gracia’s daughters.

Leader: Where are Emma Goldman’s daughters?

Reader:  Born in Russia in 1869, Emma Goldman was an anarchist leader as well as an early advocate for birth control, unionization, free speech, anti-conscription, and the eight-hour workday. She was imprisoned and deported from the United States for her activism. Even among her political allies, she was considered radical, bravely voicing her support for right of woman and homosexuals.

All: Every woman who stands behind her principles and voices her beliefs despite the risks, every woman who works for social change – we are Emma’s daughters.

Leader: The daughters of Hannah Senesh: Are they here?

Reader:  Hannah Senesh went to Palestine as one of the aerialist Zionist pioneers. During the Holocaust, she returned to Nazi Europe to rescue fellow Jews. Captured and tortured, she died at the age of twenty-three. Hannah Senesh, a true hero, left us her powerful poems.

All: Every Jewish woman fighter, Zionist, or poet – we are Hannah’s daughters.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Dancing with Miriam Haggadah