Did you ever get a song stuck in your head? And stuck so firmly that it was permanent? Well, in this particular case, it is the chorus of a song, and that chorus consists of just one word, albeit sung ten times in a lively, catchy manner. And then the chorus is sung after each of fifteen verses.
That word is Dayenu (pronounced die ay new). It is a Hebrew word and means
“It would have been enough [for us].” The song, also called “Dayenu,” is a popular Passover song and will be sung in many Jewish homes tonight at the Seder.
The verses tell, one by one, the wonderful gifts of God as he delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the miracles God did for them , and the gifts of Shabbat and the Torah. I never did quite understand the song. Take the delivery from Egypt portion for example. Yes, it was wonderful that God parted the Red Sea, but was that really enough? Wasn’t it also necessary that He provided for their needs during the forty years in the wilderness? Then I learned that the idea of the song is that it is important to take time to be grateful for each of the acts, even though they are part of a larger outcome.
So what does this have to do with me? At some point I began using this word, Dayenu, as an antidote to the ” shoulds.” Here are some examples:
1.) I walked my two or three miles. I get home and think, “I really should do some weight training or some balance exercises.
I walked. Dayenu.
2.) I scrubbed the bathroom within an inch of its life. I say to myself, ” I really should scrub the kitchen.”
I scrubbed the bathroom. Dayenu.
3.) I crossed three items off my To Do List. I really should take care of the rest.
I crossed off three. Dayenu.
Well, you get the gist.
For the full effect of this word and song, I urge you to Google “Dayenu” and choose one of the YouTube selections to hear it performed live.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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