Dayenu! I would be content!


Had God brought us out of Egypt

and not divided the sea for us, dayenu!

Had God permitted us to cross the sea on dry land

and not sustained us in the desert, dayenu!

Had God sustained us for forty years in the desert

and not provided us with manna, dayenu!

Had God fed us with manna

and not give us the Sabbath, dayenu!

Had God given us the Sabbath

and not brought us to Mount Sinai, dayenu!

Had God brought us to Mount Sinai

and not given us the Torah, dayenu!

Had God given us the Torah

and not led us into the land of Israel, dayenu!

Had God led us into the land of Israel

and not built for us the Temple, dayenu!

Had God built for us a Temple

and not sent us the Prophets of truth, dayenu!

Had God sent us prophets of truth

and not made us a holy people, dayenu!

-Passover Song (dayenu means, “I would be content”)

This wonderful Passover song has many different levels of meaning. What I am struck by is the simple proclamation of gratitude that accompanies the hymn every step of the way. It makes me reflect on the practice of gratitude in my own life. How often do I simply look to the next thing, person, achievement, blessing, experience of God in my sights without failing to simply wonder in awe at all that has been and all that is. If I look back at the many wonders of my own journey of faith, how could I write this hymn with God’s saving events in my own life? Where in my life can I resound with the refrain of this hymn of praise, dayenu ?

I am going to take some time to praise God in love and gratitude – and to say to my Lord, dayenu! I would be content. I am content. I am grateful.

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