Dayenu – A Call to Action

Dayenu!

Nachshon

Waves symbolizing the waters of the Red Sea.

“It would have been enough for us.”

This is our response to each of the many miracles we enumerate at the Seder table. Thank you, God, for doing each of these great things; if you stopped at any point along the way, that should have been enough to satisfy us.

But our response is incomplete.

We celebrate God’s presence in the miracle of the Exodus. But we forget our role. It is as if God continues to tighten the string, pulling back on the bow further and further until the people are ready to spring forward into action. God is preparing us, inciting us, readying us to take on the challenge that lies ahead. It is as if God is saying, “Get ready,” I am handing this off to you as you engage as my partner in the active unfolding of history to create the world that should be.

This message has never been more important.

As we go to our Seder tables next week, we will recite God’s miracles and recount the tale of our liberation from the life of slavery to the hope of freedom. But freedom requires work to overcome the forces that would return us to the days of old, the days of slavery. We must use this modern-day Seder as our rallying point, to commit ourselves to pursuing the freedoms that started with a miracle, back in Egypt or here in Philadelphia. The values that we hold dear — life, liberty and justice — are under threat by hostile forces. The miracle of our freedom is done. The time for our action to fight for what our freedom means is at hand.

So this Seder, when you say “Dayenu,” mean it. Be grateful for the miracles and express your gratitude by becoming a partner in the ongoing work of bringing our values forward so all may be so blessed.

Wishing everyone a zissen Pesach!

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