I was privileged to celebrate two Seder (Passover) meals with Jewish friends last weekend. It is a beautiful ceremony that has been observed for thousands of years. The word Seder means order; the same format has been used over and over throughout the generations.
The first evening, Becca prepared the meal in the Ashkenazi (European) tradition and the 2nd evening in the Sephardic (Middle Easter/ Northern African) style. Ben, Becca’s husband led us through the prayers (all in Hebrew) and account of the Exodus (fortunately for me, in English). Our Haggadah (a booklet containing the written order so participants can follow along) explained that on this night we remember being set from slavery and from idolatry. To me this was an interesting phrase because while being set free from slavery is clear cut, being loosed from the power of idolatry seems to be a gradual progression.
Another thing that lingered my mind was the song “Dayenu.” Miriam, Ben’s mother, has a lovely voice as she sang in Hebrew (far more captivating than the You Tube version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSfrxV_Kcig ). After each miracle of deliverance is read, we sang a chorus of Dayenu. “It would have been enough….” Had no further signs been given, it would have been sufficient to praise God for what He had already done.
I was thoroughly blessed by sharing this feast with my friends. I had imagined a solemn occasion, yet our time was light-hearted with lots of joking and some quibbling. We used finger puppets to represent the plagues. Since there were no children, the youngest adult (age 24) who had to find the afikomen (a piece of matzo broken off and hidden to bring out at the end for dessert). In anticipation of the Messianic Kingdom, the door is opened for Elijah the prophet. We conclude by saying, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
I believe the Passover foreshadows the freedom we can now experience through belief in Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Messiah, the anointed one). If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed. When I am tempted to feel entitled to more or wondering why God did not answer my prayer, I will sing dayenu. It is enough that Jesus humbled himself and became a man, lived a human life in complete obedience to his Father. He willingly offered himself as our perfect sacrificial lamb on the cross. He was placed in a tomb, yet raised to life so we can be set free from slavery to sin and walk in newness of His life (freed from idolatry), and spend eternity with Him. It is enough to praise him for this even if that was the only thing. He is enough.
One thought on “Dayenu”
I so enjoyed and was enlightened by Lynn’s description of a Seder. I, too, once was privileged to attend a Seder. I did not understand the elements as Lynn does, but I did experience the warmth, light-heartedness, family-oriented worship and was entranced by it. How beautiful are the Jewish roots of our Jewish Messiah, Jesus!