This week, and really so much of January so far, has felt a lot like Passover, the Angel of Death passing over us and letting us live. Especially after the January 6 Insurrection, fittingly falling on the Christian feast of Epiphany (manifestation: the three kings recognized Jesus as God) just in time to manifest and show us the worst of our nation’s history, it has been a fraught few weeks. And so on Wednesday when I heard sane, rational people speaking in whole grammatical sentences, I keep feeling that, really, that would have been enough. After the last traumatic four years and four months, when we’ve been repeatedly battered by Tweetstorms, shitstorms, and the nuclear dumpster fire that was 2020, I really wasn’t expecting much or hoping for much.
This brings me to the Jewish Passover song Dayenu, It Would Have Been Enough. There are fifteen stanzas describing all the things God did for the Jews, freeing them from slavery, doing miracles and staying close to them, and at the end of each one, everyone sings, Dayenu.
Five Stanzas of Leaving Slavery
1) If He had brought us out of Egypt.
2) If He had executed justice upon the Egyptians.
3) If He had executed justice upon their gods.
4) If He had slain their first-born.
5) If He had given to us their health and wealth.
Five Stanzas of Miracles
6) If He had split the sea for us.
7) If He had led us through on dry land.
8) If He had drowned our oppressors.
9) If He had provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years.
10) If He had fed us manna.
Five Stanzas of Being With God
11) If He had given us Shabbat.
12) If He had led us to Mount Sinai.
13) If He had given us the Torah.
14) If He had brought us into the Land of Israel.
15) If He built the Temple for us.