iOS app Android app

Ellis Weiner

Ellis Weiner

Posted: April 10, 2006 05:14 PM

A Public Service from The Huffington Post: Dayenu 5766


Passover is the annual Jewish holiday celebrating the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. It is commemorated by the seder, a ceremonial meal held on the first (and sometimes the second) evening of the holiday. The prayers, invocations, and rituals of the event are set forth in the Haggadah, usually a small booklet provided to each of the dinner's participants. There is an official sequence of events and an accepted series of prayers for the seder, but apart from that there is no set text for a Haggadah. Any person or organization can publish one--synagogues, commercial companies, schools, social clubs, etc.

One well-known traditional song, at least at American seders, is "Dayenu" (dah-YAY-nu), which is Hebrew for "it would have been enough." In it, the Leader of the seder (usually a father, grandfather, or guest of honor) recites a series of God's blessings on the Jewish people, to which the assembled express thanks and proclaim that each benison, in and of itself, would have been "enough."

For all the grim events it recounts--slavery, the Ten Plagues, etc.--the seder is a celebration of escape and freedom, and as such is a joyous, happy event. Indeed, a seder can grow rather raucous: One of its most famous rituals is the drinking of four cups of wine throughout the ceremony. Other traditions include the opening of the door to the home to "admit the prophet Elijah," in the hopes that his appearance will signal the arrival of the Messiah; and the concluding invocation "Next year in Jerusalem!" to express the desire that someday all the Jewish people, scattered throughout the world, will finally be re-united in the Promised Land.

Haggadahs (or haggadot) are written anew and published every year, so an updating or modernizing of their contents is not unusual. Still, there may be Passover celebrants for whom even the most up-to-date Haggadah is not quite timely enough. The Huffington Post is happy to address this need. For those who prefer an absolutely contemporary seder service for the night of Wednesday or Thursday, April 12 or 13, we suggest the following. Feel free to copy, paste, and print as many copies as required without charge.


LEADER: How inscrutable are the ways of W! How unpredictable are his words, how unbelievable his reasons, how confounding his actions!

ALL: Amen.

LEADER: How expanding nigh unto infinity are his executive powers, how vanishing unto nothingness his credibility!

ALL: Amen.

LEADER: His ways are ways of recklessness, and all his paths are fucked.

ALL: Amen.

LEADER: Just when we think we have seen everything that can be seen, he astounds us with new revelations. Just when we think things can get no worse, their badness increases tenfold. Just when we think we are able to get out, he pulls us back in.

ALL: Amen.

LEADER: If he had only spent his first term playing video games on his ranch, it would have been enough to insult us and degrade and besmirch the office of the presidency for all eternity.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: But he did so much more, unto it and unto us! His doing unto us never ceases, nor does his untruthfulness about it abate one jot or tittle!

ALL: Amen.

LEADER: Yet it is not merely unto us that he does. For has he not bestowed his unrighteousness upon the tribes of Mesopotamia?

ALL: He has.

LEADER: Will he not do the same unto the hosts of Persia, should not somebody with the sense the Lord G-d (blessed be He and blessed be His name) gave papayas, oppose it with all their heart and all their soul and all their might?

ALL: He will.

LEADER: Then come! Let us sing of W's deeds and words, that we may instruct our children, and our children's children, about what W did unto us then, what he does now, and what he will do unto us and unto our issue forever and ever. If he had only lied like a weasel during Campaign 2000 but had not stolen Florida with chanting mobs and corrupt judges, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only stolen Florida with chanting mobs and corrupt judges, but had not given tax cuts unto the rich, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only given tax cuts unto the rich, but had not gutted environmental regulations and consumer liability and bankruptcy protection rights at the behest of corporations, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

(CHORUS)
Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Dayenu, dayenu.

LEADER: If he had only gutted environmental regulations and consumer liability and bankruptcy protection rights at the behest of corporations, and had not ignored the threat of terrorism until 9-11, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If had only-- Wait. Did we already drink all four cups of wine?

ALL: We did.

LEADER: Then let us drink four more cups of wine. Make it five!

ALL: Make it six!

LEADER: Let it be six.

(ALL drink six more cups of wine.)

LEADER: Very well. Wow. Where were we?

ALL: We know not.

LEADER: Let us consult the Haggadah and find our place. Whither have gone my reading glasses?

ALL: You are wearing them.

LEADER: So I am. If he had only ignored the threat of terrorism until 9-ll, and not opposed the creation of the 9-11 Commission until he was embarrassed into going along with it, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only opposed the creation of the 9-11 Commission, and had not had the U.S. pull out of, violate, ignore, or scuttle the ABM Treaty, the Geneva Conventions, the Kyoto Protocols, the International Criminal Court, and the provision of international family planning funds for the U.N., it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only done those things, and had not lied about Saddam Hussein's connection to Al Queda and Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, to scare us into invading Iraq, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

(In the event of: ALL: We want more wine!

Add: LEADER: The wine is all gone. Let someone call the wine store.)

LEADER: If he had only lied us into war, and had not declared Mission Accomplished six weeks later like a strutting buffoon, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only declared Mission Accomplished six weeks later like a strutting buffoon, and had not concealed the true cost of his Medicare bill, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only concealed the true cost of his Medicare bill, and had not suppressed and misrepresented scientific knowledge about stem cells and global warming, for political purposes, it would have been enough.

(In the event of: ALL: More wine is here! Let us rejoice! Yay!

Add: LEADER: Let the youngest child get up from the table and go to the front door of the dwelling, and open the door to admit Elijah, the delivery guy from the wine store. Blessed art Thou oh Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who createst the fruit of the vine, and Who availeth us of the home delivery thereof. Amen.

ALL: Amen!

LEADER: We now drink the seventh-through-tenth cups of wine on top of the original four and the other six.

All drink four more cups of wine.

LEADER: All right! That is that about which I am talking!

ALL: Amen!)

LEADER: If W had only suppressed and misrepresented scientific knowledge for political purposes, and had not used "terror alert levels" for political purposes, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Dayenu, dayenu.

LEADER: If he had only used "terror alert levels" for political purposes, and had not signed a $136 billion corporate tax cut bill while our soldiers had insufficient personnel and body armor, it would have been enough.

ALL: Oy gevalt! Dayenu already!

LEADER: If he only signed a $136 billion dollar corporate tax cut, and had not overseen a complete botching of the occupation of Iraq, leading to thousands of American dead and tens of thousands of Iraqi dead and the destruction of the country's infrastructure and its downward spiral into incipient civil war, it would have been enough.

ALL: Genug! Enough!

LEADER: If he had only botched the whole Iraq thing, and had not hidden from public view the returning dead and injured, and cut veterans' benefits for this supposedly noble and righteous venture, it would have been enough.

ALL: More than enough! More than dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only dishonored the dead and injured, and had not imprisoned thousands in a Soviet-style gulag without charges, trials, or counsel, and condoned and encouraged torture, and sponsored rendition of people to foreign torture cells, it would have been enough.

ALL: Oy! Dayenu and a half!

LEADER: If he had only imprisoned and tortured people like the Soviets, and had not spread poor Terri Schaivo all over the news, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only used Terri Schaivo's body as a political football, and not sat silent and passive like a lox while being briefed on Hurricane Katrina and done nothing, allowing thousands of people to die or wallow in a putrid sinkhole of destruction and filth, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu now and FOREVER already dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only sat like a lox during Katrina, but had not nominated Harriet Meiers to the Supreme Court, it would have been enough!

ALL: Dayenu on stilts!

LEADER: If he had only nominated Harriet Meiers to the Supreme Court, and had not conducted a secret program of wiretapping American citizens at home, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Dayenu, dayenu.

LEADER: If he had only conducted secret domestic wiretapping, and had not built his entire administration on trillion dollar deficits, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If--Jesus. I should eat something. Who has the matzoh? All right: If he had only built his entire administration on trillion dollar deficits, and had not lied repeatedly about the Valerie Plame leaks when he was the one who authorized them, it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If he had only lied repeatedly about the Valerie Plame leaks, but had not defended the incompetent Rumsfeld and given a medal to the idiot Tenant and used his office to intimidate and smear his critics and kept a vice-president who lies about literally everything and meets secretly with lobbyists and shot an old man in the face--it would have been enough.

ALL: Dayenu!

Da-da-yenu
Da-da-yenu
Da-da--yenu
Dayenu, dayenu.

(Dayenu!)

Da-da--

What is the matter?

LEADER: I am nauseous. Let us wrap this up. Next year in Jerusalem!

ALL: Oy. Are you nuts? It's crazy there. And now with Hamas?

LEADER: You are right. Okay. Next year at the impeachment!

ALL: Next year at the impeachment!

LEADER: Amen. And now let us sing "Chad Gadya." The song about the pet goat.