In light of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover, a new and improved Haggadah for Pesach written in the spirit of feminism has been published and put up for sale. The new Haggadah incorporates female characters along with the usual male characters.
Several "leading ladies" in Israeli culture are responsible for the new initiative, including writer Yochi Brandes and singer Alma Zohar.
The female oriented Haggadah is called "Vehi Sheamda" (it is she who has stood for our Forefathers and us). "Vehi Sheamda" is a Jewish liturgical poem sung during the Passover seder.
The Haggadah was written by both religious and secular women who are studying at a Midrasha (institute of Jewish studies for women) over a period of 12 years.
The traditional Haggadah speaks of "four sons" – one who is wise, one who is wicked, one who is simple and one who does not know to ask. Each of these sons phrases his question about the seder in a different way. The new Haggadah suggests four female characters in addition to the four sons.
The Haggadah further includes a critical version of the "Vehi Sheamda" poem sung at the seder. The text reads: "It is she who has stood, cleaned, washed, ironed, cooked, polished and set a table for 30 guests."
Other women-related texts and ideas concerning pregnancy, birth and motherhood were incorporated into the new text.