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04/04/2023 09:42:32 AM


     How can I do a series of Passover articles about seder songs without mentioning everyone's favorite?  Dayeinu! If you use a traditional haggadah, you will see that the Dayeinu song actually consists of15 verses. We commonly explain that the word "dayeinu" which is sung as the chorus and nowadays, even as a standalone song means "it would have been enough for us". Each line describes an action of God for which we are expressing gratitude. This poem is found in the very first prayer book by Rav Amram Gaon in the 9th century, but many suspect it was composed as much as 250 years before the destruction of the second Temple. I will share a link below to an article which explains the history and the possible initial context and interpretation of the song. In summary, however I will explain here that the original intent of the word Dayeinu was not to say each thing God did for us would have been enough (without the subsequent interactions)  but rather that each event was worthy of our singing praise and expressing gratitude to God. This understanding sets us up for the Hallel, the recitation of praise to God which follows the poem Dayeinu. 

     What was the origin of the popular tune? I have no idea. I have tried to find out, but all I can find at attribution is "traditional folk song." Is it one of the many Germanic melodies we adopted in the middle ages or did it come to us more recently? I have no idea. But, believe it or not, it is not the only melody!! Eliana Light who is a contemporary Jewish song writer, singer, educator and podcaster wrote this really nice melody which you might enjoy if you dare to introduce a new sound into your seder!(You can always do both as I plan to do). Eliana Light Dayeinu    Here is the article if you would like to delve more into the history and meaning of the poem. Context is Everything: About Dayeinu

Have a wonderful Pesach and I hope you fill your seders with song!! 




Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784