THERE ARE moments in life that bring us a deep sense of value. It could be the birth of a child, a wedding day, or a moment of great accomplishment. When we experience such moments it is as if the world reveals itself to us in perfection. We perceive these moments to be filled with grace, and we might feel that our lives were worth even one such experience.
This is what lies behind the portion of the Haggadah we call Dayenu (“Enough for Us”). Dayenu lists the gracious acts of God that brought us out of Egypt. After mentioning each one, we exclaim Dayenu! — “It would have been enough for us!” not because we wouldn’t have needed more, but because the experience, even once, of the Creator’s kindness would have been enough for us to say that it was all worth it.
Dayenu is part of the Seder because our freedom is fundamentally based upon the idea that the world is meaningful, and thus, so are our choices. We yearn to be free in order to choose and achieve meaningful lives.
When we are fortunate enough to experience a “Dayenu moment”, we are reminded, deep in our hearts, that our lives matter, our choices matter, and that even if it is but once in a lifetime, seeing it is knowing that it is indeed enough.