on Monday, 25 April 2016.
Posted in Rabbi's Blog
From our rabbiDepending on when you are reading this, we are either preparing to sing or have just sung one of my favorite songs—Dayenu!
If we could only sing this song every year around Passover time, it would be special enough. There are so many wonderful memories I have of singing Dayenu with my family at a Seder, learning it with friends in religious school, and now teaching it to my own children to sing together.
However, the beauty of Passover and its catchy melody lies in the meaning behind the words and rituals. The Hebrew word, Dayenu, translates to, “It would be enough for us.” If only we had been saved from bondage and led out of Egypt, that would have been enough—Dayenu. However, more miraculous happenings occurred. Each of the miracles would have been enough to show that we were loved and helped in the time of our need. Yet, more amazing gifts came to the people in the desert, a sea was parted to help the people escape, permanently, manna from heaven came to feed the Israelites, the words of Torah appeared to inspire and guide us. While we give thanks for each of these miracles on their own, we also see how the collective impact of these moments were critical to creating the people we have been and still are today.
Yet this song does not only retell the core narrative of our people. It also should inspire each of us to recall our own Dayenu moments, the miracles and incredible moments that we would not trade for anything. It would have been enough had I just been born—Dayenu. But then, I was also given parents who sustained me, or family and friends who have guided me, or good companions with whom to walk through life, or all of the above—Dayenu. I also had the amazing ability to learn and open up the world through knowledge or to benefit from the advances of technology or to have incredible opportunities in life—Dayenu.
In the time between Passover and Shavuot, we count up the days from redemption to revelation, as the Israelites wandered for 49 days after leaving Egypt, before receiving the Torah. Sometime during this season of freedom and hope, I hope you’ll share with your loved ones some of your own Dayenu moments—your own moments of freedom, blessing and miracles. This will help you make your days count, as well.
I hope you also are able to find a bit of Dayenu in how you feel about this incredible family we call Or Shalom. I know I feel very much if my family and I had only been able to come to this community to call it our home, Dayenu. To also have the chance to help guide and lead our spiritual and ritual endeavors, Dayenu. To also get to know so many of you through various life-cycle events and teaching, Dayenu. To also have the excitement of more opportunities to get to know one another even better in the months and years to come, Dayenu.
May you have a wonderful Passover season this year, and may you find many more reasons to say and sing, Dayenu.
L’shalom,Rabbi Ari N. Margolis
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
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