Dayenu

This didn’t occur to me until the seder a few weeks ago (I’ve been slow to write), but the American people are at that point right now. We’ve had enough.

Passover is a Jewish holiday and so goes according to the Hebrew calendar. It is on the fifteenth day of Nisan, which is the seventh month. Passover is a celebration of the story of Exodus. It’s more or less just the story from the book of Ester in the Old Testimont.

I have always loved Passover. It falls around my birthday (April 23) each year. Family and friends all gather round for a giant meal, we all eat while telling a fun story complete with games and sing-a-longs and drinking, and then we eat a birthday cake made with matza meal.

This year was even more special thanks usual. It was also Earth Day! Me and a friend had cleaned up trash at a park during the day and my mom decided to download a Humanist Hagida for us to use. I felt very close to the story this year. One of my favorite songs during the Sedar is “dayenu.” In Hebrew dayenu means “enough.” So in short, the story is that the Hebrew people had had ENOUGH of being slaves in Egypt (the government basically) and so Moses lead them out of “Egypt” to the “promise land.”

The reason it especially resonated with me this year was that it seems prophetic during this election season. We’ve had enough. Enough of wars, enough fear of terror, enough curruption, enough of ridiculous price leaps in college tuition since the 1970s, enough overall economic injustice. In many respects the modern workforce is symbolic of slavery, but we continue on with low wages and unfair treatment because we’re in debt to the banks whom are pals with the government. My little brother, born in 2000, doesn’t know what life is without terror threats in the air. It just gets worse and worse year after year until we say “dayenu!” If we look back at history we see that this kind of tension builds up between the people and their leaders time and time again, in communities throughout the world.

I’m not suggesting that we leave our home as in Exodus, but a peaceful political revolution could be in store. Whatever happens, this is a perfect example of how celebrating traditions can be very important. We mustn’t forget passed lessons learned and we mustn’t forget our own power and worth in society.

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