Achrei Mot/Kedoshim

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Truly Enough!

By: Rabbi Barak Bar-Chaim

Toward the conclusion of the Passover Seder, we recite the Dayenu song:

“…If He had given us the Shabbat and had not brought us before Mount Sinai — Dayenu, it would have sufficed! If He had brought us before Mount Sinai, and had not given us the Torah — Dayenu, it would have sufficed! If He had given us the Torah and had not brought us into the Land of Israel — Dayenu, it would have sufficed! If He had brought us into the Land of Israel and not built for us the Holy Temple — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!” We then proceed to say how grateful we should be for God doing all these things for us.

The oft asked questions on this song are: ‘If God would have taken us out of Egypt and done nothing further for us, would that have really been sufficient? If God would have brought us before Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah, would that have truly been sufficient? Etc.’

A common answer is that one should be grateful and thank God for every step on the journey and not be focused solely on the destination. However, I would suggest a different explanation which occurred to me on Passover. Each one of these events (the Exodus from Egypt, manna falling from heaven, the giving of Shabbat, the approach to Mount Sinai, the giving of the Torah…) represents a Divine touch. In each of these events God reveals Himself to us—making it known to us that He cares about us, wants a relationship with us, and is with us. The entire purpose of our lives is to recognize this truth and connect to God. Every one of these events independently accomplishes this task, and, therefore, is truly sufficient.

Let us remind ourselves of the Divine touches along our personal life journeys and, thereby, strengthen our faith that God is with us constantly. This is the purpose of life and just one event that gives us this realization is truly enough!