On the Bright Side
If there is anything that social distancing has taught me, it’s how spoiled I was before the pandemic. With a computer and a few numbers on a plastic card, I can have things delivered to my house without having to put on shoes. Running low on diapers? No problem! Just reorder online and they’ll be here within a week. In the mood for homemade pizza? I’ll just stop by the store on my way home and get some more cheese. Nowadays, however, I can’t even call the store ahead of time to see if the toilet paper is back in stock. If only I could just have one can of chickpeas, Dayeinu! It would have been enough!
During this Passover season, we recall the Exodus from Egypt, and exclaim that had this new freedom been our only blessing, then Dayeinu! It would have been enough! As we then recount all of the events that befell the Israelites afterwards, we recognize that each and every one was a blessing in and of itself, and we should be grateful for it. Yet I always wondered whether it really would have been enough that “God led us through the sea but had not taken care of us for 40 years in the wilderness.” Surely, we needed that extra protection as well. However, Dayeinu teaches us to count every blessing individually. Even though our whole routine has been disrupted, it is enough that we are here to continue remembering and retelling the story.
Rabbi Hillel Konigsburg is the assistant rabbi at Congregation B’nai Torah.