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Reb Lisa's Message

Dayenu! It would have been enough for us! We sing this every year at the Passover seder. This year, the concept of Dayenu, and where it appears in the seder order, feels as if the Haggadah were written for this exact time. The past year has felt like a year of bondage, where our usual freedoms have been taken away from us. We have had to endure oppressive circumstances on all levels (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual). And in the midst of that, we can reach for hope and dwell in gratitude.


Of course there are the traditional words of Dayenu, which express our gratitude in layers, in 15 verses. In the first verse we acknowledge that we were brought out from Egypt and that would have been enough! But in the verses that follow, God continues to bestow kindness and blessing upon us. After each new verse we declare Dayenu, and THAT, would have been enough. But wow, there is even more!


There is a practice of acknowledging the personal Dayenus in our lives. This year in particular was a powerful recognition of how much blessing we have, even in the midst of grueling hardship. The example I shared at our Community Seder goes something like this:


If I had simple shelter from the elements. Dayenu.


If I had my own bedroom. Dayenu.


If I had my own bathroom (especially with teenagers). Dayenu.


If I had a kitchen with every appliance I need. Dayenu.


If I had a patio to enjoy outside. Dayenu.


If I had flowers and plants to surround me. Dayenu.


You get the idea. This could actually go on and on and on. When we arrive to the present moment, and look at things in a certain way, our blessings are indeed overflowing. Dayenu.


This annual gratitude practice is one that might be worth weaving through the whole year. When we begin travelling down the road of discontent, discouragement, despair, we can choose to take another route. The route of Dayenu.


May your Pesach be meaningful, liberating, and joyous!

Moadim l’Simcha!



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