The Cleansing Power of Dayenu

THANXNo, it’s not a laundry detergent. It’s a song I learned at my first Passover Seder two weeks ago, and now I can’t get it out of my head – which is a good thing. Dayenu is a traditional Passover song about being grateful to God for the gifts he gave the Jewish people. For 15 stanzas, the leader says something or other and we, the audience, respond with “Dayenu.” “Dayenu” means one gift would have been enough.
“If he had split the sea for us…It would have been enough for us.”
“If He had led us through on dry land…It would have been enough for us.”
The song is surprisingly upbeat despite its woeful subject matter.

And so It’s All Dayenu All the Time for me. Honestly, the concept that taken over my brain. I lie in bed, wake up, and I think, “I am so comfortable here on this memory foam mattress.…it would have been enough.…my pillow is perfect too….it would have been enough….and the light is so beautiful streaming in through the window.…it would have been enough.… It makes it easy to be thankful for every single thing.

The other day, my friend, the Passover hostess, who lives around the corner said, “Let’s meet on the sidewalk.” I thought to have a friend who lives around the corner…it would have been enough.…to meet on a brand-new sidewalk….it would have been enough….to face a beautiful museum….it would have been enough….on such a sunny day….it would have been enough….

Somehow, I don’t think the Scholars of The Torah had this in mind – but it works for me. Saying Dayenu has a cleansing effect that I can feel. Gratitude changes us on a cellular level. When we feel thankful, our cells transmit chemicals that enhance our nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system – all systems –  that are consistent with good health. The “cleansing” delivers a sense of calm and peacefulness that forms a base for mindful living and healthy eating too.

Your thoughts about attitude, gratitude, and Dayenu….

Bless Your Throat. Bless Your Food.

Tomorrow morning, February 3rd , I’m heading over to the Catholic Church to celebrate the feast of Saint Blaise. Back in St. Patrick’s School, that was the day we lined up to get our throats blessed. The priest came to classroom (while the nuns went teeheehee), carrying a cross of two large candles tied with red ribbon. The priest held the candle cross up to each of our throats and, in Latin, said, “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, may God preserve you from throat troubles and every other evil.”  I loved the quaint the little ceremony and the story of St. Blaise who saved a boy with a fish bone stuck in his throat.  A kid just like me!  Nowadays, I like being saved from “every other evil” thing.

Keep on Blessing

Forever, I’ve believed that blessing food is the way to go. It’s especially important when practicing a new way of eating. Blessings confer holiness and strong wishes for happiness; they are inherently good. I just don’t think you’re likely to lose control on blessed food. When done sincerely, the blessing brings in a state of mindfulness, gratitude and peace. And so it stands to reason (to me anyway) that blessed food will be eaten with intention and joy.  A lit candle is also nice for casting out dark confusing thoughts. I mean, why not give it a try?  Bless your food.

A penny for your thoughts…