During the Passover Seder, we sing Dayenu, which means it would have been enough. It’s one of the most well-known and beloved tunes of the Seder service and commemorates all the miracles that God performed to free the Jews from slavery in Egypt.
This week, a Biblical irony. We will not recite the ten plagues brought upon Egypt with a large group of family and friends. There will be no communal Seder because of a new plague, COVID-19. No long table set with Mom’s white linen tablecloth. No shared reading of the Haggadah by our 20 or so guests, ranging in age from 10 to 79. No children hiding the Afikomen or adults competiting to see who can make the best matzoh circle.
Irv and I will feast alone. I’ll still make the matzoh ball soup with my secret ingredient. (Shh, don’t tell anyone; it’s lemon grass.) I’ll still roast a turkey. I might even make some chocolate-covered matzoh for dessert. The frozen leftovers, a reminder of our missing guests, will last for weeks.
And still this Passover reminds me of all the good in our lives. Our family is healthy. We have good food on our table, a warm bed, a loving relationship. We may not have the freedom to travel, but we have the freedom to spend our days as we wish in the comfort of our home – talking to friends on the phone, reading novels, taking classes on Zoom, and cleaning out long-neglected drawers and closets. I can walk the dogs around the neighborhood and appreciate the views of snow-capped Pikes Peak. Dayenu!
Grocery workers ensure we can buy food; the mailman, UPS and FedEx still deliver letters and packages; our garbage gets picked up every Monday. And most of all, first responders and medical professionals are saving lives every minute of every day. Dayenu!
May this Passover bring blessings of good health and hope to your family. Next year, may we celebrate Passover in community.
I raise my glass in a virtual toast to you, dear reader: L’chaim: To life!