Dayenu! A Comparison of Passover Haggadah Editions
Proving that had the Haggadah been written--but translated only once--it would not have been sufficient
If we were delivered from bondage while others remained enslaved, could we say "Dayenu"?
If we could be at peace while others died in wars, could we say "Dayenu"?
If we were born to prosper while others were born to weep, could we say "Dayenu"?
If we alone where chosen while others were forgotten, could we say "Dayenu"?
And if we have enough to eat while others starve, can we say "Dayenu"?
And if our houses are safe while others live in fear, can we say "Dayenu"?
And if we have a land to live on while others are far from home, can we say "Dayenu"?
After a traditional rendition of "Dayenus, this Haggadah adds the following:
What does this mean, "It would have been enough?" Surely no single of these would have been enough. It means to celebrate each step toward freedom as if it were enough, then to start out on the next step. It means that if we reject each step because it is not the whole liberation, we will never be able to achieve the whole liberation. It means to sing each verse as if it were the whole song--and then to sing the next verse!
It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the sufferings of millions, and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out. (Anne Frank, "The Diary of Anne Frank")