The 77% Weekly
The 40/52-weeks-a-year, quick-reading, thought-lingering, spiritual-religious newsletter.

Religion-Outside-The-Box (rotb.org) is a donation supported not-for-profit empowering adults to find and be with (the) God (of their understanding).  

9/40 From the desk of Rabbi Brian

 

 

Waiting for my soul to catch up…

 

Spring is a great spiritual-religious time of the year. In the past few years, Passover and Easter overlapped. (I loved that — and it will happen again in 2011.) In 2009, on the fourth night of the week-long Jewish holiday, my darling Jane and I had a bunch of friends over to our house to celebrate the Passover. The next day, we went over to one of their houses for an Easter dinner.

I’m so taken by the fact that we can all love God — however we understand that term — in our own way, and really appreciate each other while we’re at it. It’s great to have open, religious freedom.

Onto today’s discussion. There’s a prayer in the Passover Seder called Dayenu, which is translated as:

 

It would have been enough for us

or:

 

For us, it would have been sufficient.

It is a gratitude prayer.  One of the fundamental blocks of a spiritual-religious life is thankfulness.

The basic story line in this section of the service is, “It would have been enough for us if only we had gotten this. But we got more – we also got that. And that would have been sufficient, but we got even more. We got this other thing too, and that other thing ought to have been enough for us, but we also got ____ …and so forth.”

 

The traditional liturgy talks about things that aren’t super personal to everyone at the table, as not everyone at the table truly believes all of those words.So we adopted the prayer in a way that allows each person to create a personal version of Dayenu — it would have been enough.  Here is a bit of mine:

  • If I’d only had a childhood where I’d gotten all the blessings I got, it would have been enough…
  • But then I also got to meet Jane and fall in love with her. And that would have been enough.
  • But then I also got Emmett. And that would have been enough.
  • But then we also got Annie. And that would have been enough.
  • But then we also have our health, our house, and relative peace. And that would have been enough.
  • But we’re also surrounded by friends in a country where we can celebrate Passover and Easter on the same block. And that would have been enough…

Completing my list really put me in a deep sense of gratitude. I’m incredibly grateful for so much of what I have (including this wonderful ministry, which you’re a part of).

I’m afraid we’re all prone to falling into the rut of operating in a consumer mentality of thinking we need more, more, more. But this prayer really struck everyone at our service. It hit me hard, how grateful we should be for what we already have.

Right? We’ve already got so much.

I heard a quote (I can’t find the source of it), which goes something like this:

 

People with too much think that if one bad thing happens, their day is ruined; but people who live in gratitude think that if one good thing happens, it is a wonderful day.

I want you to make a list of things in your own life that could make up a Dayenu prayer. Start with your childhood (or whatever time in your life you want) and list out all the things where it would have been enough, if you had only gotten this, but you didn’t — you also got that.

  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.
  • It would have been enough if I had only gotten _____, but then I also got ____.

 

Spiritual-religious advice: Count (out loud) your blessings.

 

With love,

Rabbi Brian

Rabbi Brian

The 77% Weekly

The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
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