Dayenu is one of those mindful traditions. On a literal level if means "it would have been enough," but on a progressive level it is a commentary on our modern culture where nothing--not our possessions, our bank accounts, or the food on the dinner plates--seems to be enough.
Dayenu asks us to be grateful for all the blessings that surround us, but also to be mindful of injustice in the world and then to do something about it.
Such a powerful and important message.
The following is from the Herman family Pesach, the book you read (and sing) as a group during the Passover Seder. This Pesach was lovingly prepared, and this passage mindfully selected, by one of my zen inspirations, Phyllis Herman:
It would have been enough for God to take us out of Egypt.
It would have been enough to bring us through the Red Sea, enough to give us the Torah and Shabbat, enough to bring us into the land of Israel.
While we count each of these blessing as if it would have been enough on its own we know that more was given, and more is promised.
From singing Dayenu we learn to celebrate each landmark on our people's journey. Yet must ever confuse these way stations with the redemptive destination. Because it is not yet Dayenu. There is still so much to do in our work of repairing the world.
If we speak truthfully about the pain, joys, and contradictions of our lives, Dayenu.
It we listen to others with sensitivity and compassion, Dayenu.
If we volunteer our time and money, Dayenu.
If we teach our students and children to pursue justice with all their strength, Dayenu.
If we care for the earth and its future as responsible as we care for those we love, Dayenu.
If we create art, music, dance, and literature, Dayenu.
If we realize our power to effect change, Dayenu.
If we bring holiness into our lives homes, and communities, Dayenu.
If we honor our visions more than our fears, Dayenu, v'lo dayenu.
It will, and it will not be, enough.