Miriam, the daughter possessing wisdom of the heart

According to the Midrash, young Miriam confronted her father Amram who had vowed to refrain from procreation because of Pharoah's decree to destroy all male newborns ( Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 12). "Father, your decree is harder than Pharoah's. He will destroy all the males, but you will destroy all the females and males. The decree of the wicked Pharaoh may or may not be fulfilled, but your decree will for sure be realized." Miriam's father heeded his daughter. So we follow in her steps with drums and dancing, spreading her prophecy among the nations.

Tamar, the rebellious daughter

Tamar was accused of adultery. She had been married to two of Judah's sons who died without producing offspring, so Judah was obligated to give her his third son in marriage so she could give life to her heirless husbands. But Judah refused, so Tamar dressed as a prostitute. Judah solicited her and without realizing it made his daughter-in-law pregnant, thus guaranteeing the tribe's survival. However, Judah sought to have Tamar burned as a prostitute. "Father-in-law," said Tamar, "recognize" the tyranny of man's rule over women and the hypocrisy of double standards. She rebelled against authority and Judah admitted: "She is more righteous than I." (Genesis 38:26). So we can enjoy no freedom until we have challenged unjust ways.

Ruth, the simple and pure daughter

"Naomi, my mother-in-law:  Wherever you go, I shall go, and wherever you rest your head, there I will rest mine. Your people are mine, and your God my God. " (Ruth 1:16). So we must demonstrate simple and ingenuous loyalty.

The Beautiful Captive, the daughter who cannot ask

The Torah permits a soldier conquering an enemy to take a woman captive as a wife but only after she has been allowed to mourn the loss of her mother and father. Only her silent weeping is heard, as it says, "and she wept for her father and mother" (Deut. 21:13). So we will be her mouthpiece and she will be our judge. So we will return her to her mother's house and we will "proclaim liberty in the land for all its [enslaved] inhabitants." (Lev. 25:10). The silent weeping that erupts from this dark reality is a call to action for the cause of freedom and liberty of every man and woman born in the image of God.

(Rabbi Einat Ramon, Shechter Rabbinical Semintary, Israel)

haggadah Section: -- Four Children