Dayeinu is the most well-known PassoverPassover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). song, probably because of its simple refrain and rollicking tune. But it actually makes no sense. Would it really be enough if God had taken us out of Egypt but had not divided the sea for us? Wouldn’t the pursuing Egyptians have re-enslaved us? Would it really have been enough for God to have brought us to Mount SinaiAccording to the Torah, God, in the presence of the Jewish people, gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai (Har Sinai). but hadn’t given us the TorahThe Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.? What would have been the point?
Dayeinu is actually suggesting an important spiritual principle of enoughness. We live our lives with ambitions and hopes. Some are fulfilled. Some never happen. With the passage of time, some fade away or are lost. Even as we mourn the losses, we are to remember the blessings that we have. Dayenu is not just striving for an acceptance of what we have. It is more than not being greedy or envious. It is coming to a sense of sufficiency—enoughness.
A Dayeinu for Our Time
If I am infuriated by leaders who don’t lead but I can turn off the TV right in the middle of their babbling—dayeinu; it would be enough.
If I can’t getA writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have amended this tradition, making divorce more egalitarian. together with my friends but I can see and talk to them by Zoom—dayeinu; it would be enough.
If I am stuck in my home for days that turn into weeks but at least I have a home unlike too many others—dayeinu; it would be enough.
If I am anxious about whether I have the coronavirus but I have a doctor who I trust for advice—dayeinu; it would be enough
If I have symptoms and my doctor says to stay at home and most likely I will be okay—dayeinu; that would be scary but still it would be enough.
If I need to go to the hospital at least I know I will get first rate care and while now I am really afraid—still dayeinu; it would be enough.
If I was isolated and my loved ones couldn’t come to my room, I would cry but be assured of their love—dayeinu; it would have to be enough.
If I knew that my life was coming to an end and death was at the door of my room, I would wrap myself in my story—its happy moments and its sad ones, in its blessings and in its final curse. I would remember that our stories don’t end but go on and on as long as memory endures—dayeinu.