Is It Ever Enough?
"Had God but split the sea, and not passed
us through it on dry land it would have been enough.
How could it have been enough? Had Israel not escaped through the Red
Sea, they would have been slaughtered by the Egyptians!
The point of the poem
is to express gratitude for every facet of Gods miraculous deliverance.
There is a sense that the Exodus, which reached its fulfillment in the
entry into the Land and the building of the Temple (a process of over
400 years!) unfolded in many steps, each constituting a miracle in itself.
The poet feels the living power of each gesture of divine favor, irrespective
of the total result. Had You only done this and no more it would
have been enough for me to feel Your divine love. The principle of dayeinu,
of giving thanks even for the partial and incomplete, is crucial for living
in this uncertain world in which few dreams ever come to total fruition.
We thank God every day for the miracle of being alive. In learning gratitude
to God we also learn to show gratitude to parents, teachers, loved ones
and friends, even when their efforts fall short of completeness. top
Afghani Onion Free-for-All
If things at your seder are slowing down and people seem drowsy, try the
Afghani custom of distributing green onions.
Beginning with the
ninth stanza, Even if You had supplied our needs in the desert
for 40 years, but not fed us manna from heaven, the participants
hit each other (gently?) with the green onion stalks, everytime they sing
the refrain Da-yeinu."
Perhaps this custom
is tied to the biblical story of the Jews who complained about the manna
God had given them and recalled with longing the onions in Egypt. We
remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons,
the leeks, the ONIONS and the garlic. Now our gullets are shrivelled.
There is nothing at all. Nothing but this manna to look at.
(Numbers 11:5-6) By beating each other
with onions we admonish ourselves NOT to yearn for the fleshpots of Egypt
and NOT to forget the Egyptian bondage. top
and Recounting Our Blessings:
Dayeinu establishes a pattern of enumerating our blessings one at a
time but it ends with the building of the Temple circa 1000 B.C.E. Suggest
another ten national or family events deserving thanks since then. For
example, the Six Day War (1967), or the airlift of Ethiopian jews to Israel
(1991). You may wish to use Rabbi Irving Greenbergs contemporary
Dayeinu (see page 109). top
created in honor of the anniversary of the birth of the State of
Israel by Rabbi Steve Greenberg
It Would Have Been Enough...
Had God upheld us throughout
2,000 years of Dispersion,
But not preserved our hope for return Dayeinu!
Had God preserved our hope
But not sent us leaders to make the dream a reality Dayeinu!
Had God sent us leaders
to make the dream a reality,
But not given us success in the U.N. vote in 1947 Dayeinu!
Had God given us success
in the U.N. vote,
But not defeated our attackers in 1948 Dayeinu!
Had God defeated our attackers
But not unified Jerusalem Dayeinu!
Had God unified Jerusalem,
But not led us towards peace with Egypt and Jordan Dayeinu!
Had God returned us to the
land of our ancestors,
But not filled it with our children Dayeinu!
Had God filled it with our
But not caused the desert to bloom Dayeinu!
Had God caused the desert
But not built for us cities and towns Dayeinu!
Had God rescued our remnants
from the Holocaust,
But not brought our brothers from Arab lands Dayeinu!
Had God brought our brothers
from Arab lands,
But not opened the gate for Russias Jews Dayeinu!
Had God opened the gate
for Russias Jews,
But not redeemed our people from Ethiopia Dayeinu!
Had God redeemed our people
But not strengthened the State of Israel Dayeinu!
Had God strengthened the
State of Israel,
But not planted in our hearts a covenant of one people Dayeinu!
Had God planted in our hearts
a covenant of one people,
But not sustained in our souls a vision of a perfected world Dayeinu!