Even as we waited in our slavery for the Eternal to free us from Egypt, we probably wondered if it would be enough. Surely there were Israelites complaining that Pharaoh had always provided us with food, water, and shelter, even if we were being worked rather than working. Why give up such a sure thing? Would it be enough? Was it really going to be enough to trade that security and complacency for freedom and uncertainty?
But we must remember that the center of the story is this: if we had not been brought out of Egypt, then even today we might still be slaves. We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. We were strangers in Egypt. Now we are free. The Eternal brought us out of Egypt, gave us the Torah, and gave us the Sabbath. Even if God had only done one of these for us, it would have been enough.
(Either the leader reads each item on the list below, or the reading passes from one person to the next. Everyone says "Dayenu!" together after each item.)
If the Eternal had brought us out from Egypt, but had not carried out judgment against them…
If the Eternal had carried out judgment against them, but had not destroyed their idols…
If the Eternal had destroyed their idols, but had not smitten their first-born….
If the Eternal had smitten their first-born, but had not given us their wealth….
If the Eternal had given us their wealth, but had not parted the sea for us….
If the Eternal had parted the sea for us, but had not taken us to dry land across it…
If the Eternal had taken us to dry land across it, but had not drowned our oppressors in it…
If the Eternal had drowned our oppressors, but had not supplied us with our needs for forty years in the desert…
If the Eternal had supplied us with our needs, but had not fed us with manna…
If the Eternal had fed us with manna, but had not given us Shabbat…
If the Eternal had given us Shabbat, but had not brought us to Sinai…
If the Eternal had brought us to Sinai, but had not given us the Torah….
If the Eternal had given us the Torah, but had not brought us into the land of Israel…
If the Eternal had brought us into the land of Israel, but had not built for us the Temple…
Dayenu! It would have been enough!
Kama ma’a lot tovot lamakom aleinu.
Ilu hotzi’anu mimitzrayim, v’lo asah bahem shfatim, dayenu.
Ilu asah bahem shfatim, v’lo asah vailoheihem, dayenu.
Ilu asah vailoheihem, v’lo harag et bichoraihem, dayenu.
Ilu harag et bichoraihem, v’lo natan lanu mamonam, dayenu.
Ilu natan lanu mamonam, v’lo karah lanu et hayam, dayenu.
Ilu karah lanu et hayam, v’lo he’evairanu bitocho becheravah, dayenu.
Ilu he’evairanu bitocho becheravah, v’lo shikah tzareinu b’tocho, dayenu.
Ilu shikah tzareinu b’tocho, v’lo sifek tzarchainu bamidbar arba’im shana, dayneu.
Ilu sifek tzarchainu bamidbar arba’im shana, v’lo he’echilanu et haman, dayenu.
Ilu he’echilanu et haman, v’lo natan lanu et hashabbat, dayenu.
Ilu natan lanu et hashabbat, v’lo karvanu lifnei har Sinai, dayenu.
Ilu karvanu lifnei har Sinai, v’lo natan lanu et hatorah, dayenu.
Ilu natan lanu et hatorah, v’lo hichnisanu l’eretz Yisrael, dayenu.
Ilu hicnisanu l’eretz Yisrael, v’lo vana lanu et bait habchirah, dayenu.
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