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Dayenu: It Would Have Been Enough

Dayenu: It Would Have Been Enough

Clip Featured in Brandi Ullian's

Singing "Dayenu" is a much-loved tradition at the Passover Seder. We recognize all the things that God gave the Israelites throughout their exodus and journey in the desert, and respond with the phrase "Dayenu," meaning "it would have been enough." But even those who don't believe in a supernatural God can still sing "Dayenu" honestly.

"Dayenu" is a song all about appreciating what we have and what we’ve been given. It is easy to get lost in the great lists of things we don’t have and the demands we are always fighting for. However, we should take stock of what we do have and appreciate those gifts, because it's possible we could have much less or nothing at all.

If I had only one pair of shoes and not two, dayenu!
If I had a tiny apartment and not a house, dayenu!
If I had a only two meals a day to eat and not three, dayenu!

The traditional "Dayenu" recounts everything the Israelites were thankful for as they left Egypt. The message is that just one of these events that led to their freedom, "it would have been enough." We'll only sing a few of the verses, but you can read the translated text of the full song below.

Dayenu

Ilu ho-tsi, ho-tsi-a-nu,
Ho-tsi-anu mi-Mitz-ra-yim
Ho-tsi-anu mi-Mitz-ra-yim
Da-ye-nu!
(Had we not been taken out of Egypt, it would've been enough!)

Chorus:
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-da-ye-nu,
Da-ye-nu Da-ye-nu

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu,
Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat,
Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat,
Da-ye-nu!
(Had we not been given the Sabbath, it would have been enough!)

(Chorus)

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu,
Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah,
Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah,
Da-ye-nu!
(Had we not been sent the Torah, it would have been enough!)

(Chorus)

Had we been taken out of Egypt and not had judgment executed upon the Egyptians, it would've been enough.
Had judgment been executed upon the Egyptians and not upon their idols, it would've been enough.
Had judgment been executed upon their idols, and not their firstborn, it would've been enough.
Had judgment been executed upon their firstborn, and we had not received their wealth, it would've been enough.
Had we received their wealth, and not had the sea split for us, it would've been enough.
Had the sea been split the sea for us, and we had not been led through it to dry land, it would've been enough.
Had we been led to dry land, and our enemies not drowned in the sea behind us, it would've been enough for us.
Had our enemies drowned, and our needs not have been provided for in the desert for 40 years, it would've been enough.
Had we been supported in the desert and not been given bread, it would have been enough.
Had we been given bread and not been given the Sabbath, it would have been enough.
Had we been given the Sabbath and not been brought to Mount Sinai, it would have been enough.
Had we been brought to Mount Sinai and not been sent the Torah, it would have been enough.
Had we been sent the Torah and not been brought to Israel, it would have been enough.
Had we been brought to Israel and not been built the Holy Temple, it would have been enough.