Every spring I find myself singing Dayenu. When I am around the Passover table with the Gelb/Levine family and friends, this is one of my favorite songs…it’s no wonder that it stays with me for the entire season of rebirth. The translation of word Dayenu from Hebrew means, approximately, “it would have been enough” or “it would have been sufficient.” It’s a joyous, thousand year old song that is a celebration of gratitude.
Since one of my core beliefs is that saying thank you is important, it’s no wonder that Dayenu resonates with my heart and soul. When we are thankful for even the smallest aspects of life, we’re able to be joyous even as we experience loss, difficulties, and failures.
No matter what your religious traditions are, it’s especially appropriate that we come into the spring season in the spirit of Dayenu. Spring in itself is uplifting and positive. It’s tempting at this time of year to focus only on rebirth and growth. Yet when we’re able to say that this alone would be enough, it’s an acknowledgement that even in the season of reawakening we know that life contains the imperfect and the perfect. The fullness of life embraces death, birth, evil, holiness, good intentions, false starts, prayers and thousands of ordinary or even boring moments. Each one of them, because they are life itself, would be enough.
What would your gardener’s dayenu be? One seed sprouts out of a handful of seeds that don’t germinate…dayenu. This year the kale has produced continually from summer into fall…dayenu. I saw a local gardener who’s been growing organically for over sixty years the other day, and the light of joy about planting was still in her eyes at age 90…dayenu. My husband and I planted peas together yesterday…dayenu.
It is spring and whether I’m around the Passover table with family and friends, or cleaning and planting in the garden, I’m grateful for this season. For each opportunity for growth, dayenu.
Since Dayenu is a song of celebration, it’s no wonder that performers have fun with it. Here are some of my favorites:
The Maccabeats journey through musical styles and history.
Aaron Roller “Dayenu is a Love Story”