I love Seders (Passover Supper). I love the emphasis on redemption. I love the timelessness about them. The resounding echoes of TRADITION (Yes, I’m channeling Teyve.) And though I have only participated in edited, Christianized versions, they were each well done and carefully conducted with respect and a desire for all to understand better.
During a traditional, full Seder, several songs are sung in Hebrew. One of those songs is Dayenu. The word means approximately, “It would have been enough for us,” or “It would have sufficed.” (day in Hebrew is “enough”, and -enu the first person plural suffix, “to us”).
Deyenu, a song with a history stretching over a 1000 years of singing, tells, in fifteen stanzas, of the many gifts God gave to the Jewish people. It begins with the plagues on Egypt, then includes the Passover, manna in the wilderness, being given the Promised Land, and finally having a temple in Jerusalem. Each verse leaves the message: if this had been all, it would have been enough for us.
It is a song about gratitude to God.
Reading about Dayenu, I began to count the many blessings and miracles of my life. Using the song as a pattern:
If I had been raised in a good family and never married, it would have been enough.
If I had been married, but never had children, it would have been enough.
If I had received children, but never known the joy of holding a grandchild, it would have been enough.
See how it goes?
Sometimes the blessing is after a trial. Such as “If he had split the sea for us and not taken us through on dry land, It would have sufficed.” Think of that terrible, faith chilling time prior to the sea dividing when the Egyptians in their deadly chariots, pulled by stamping war horses, were kept at bay only by the power of God. With Egypt’s soldiers behind, and the sea before, surely many despaired! But then Moses lifted his hands and the sea was divided.
Sometimes gifts of great wonder come after a time of despair. My first child came after five years of longing. The second came after five more. Yet I count each as a wondrous blessing from a loving Father in Heaven. Deyenu.
This year, prior to your Easter Celebration, consider the Passover, and the traditions of the Seder. The Last Supper is believed by many to have been a Passover meal.
Maybe as a family, or individually, you could list your blessings and consider how each “would have been enough.”