Supporting the long journey to freedom

Ilu hotzianu mi mitzrayim, dayeinu!
If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

Dayenu recalls every step in our path to redemption: departure from Egypt, the splitting of the sea, sustenance in the wilderness, the giving of the Torah and our arrival in the land of Israel. And although we express gratitude for each moment by saying, “It would have been enough,” we know that all of these steps were necessary to achieve full freedom. Had the journey ended with the leaving of Egypt, we would not be free people.

As today’s freedom-seekers depart their own Egypts, they contend with obstacles as formidable as the raging sea and find the strength to persevere through the challenges that lie ahead. We stand with them proudly, as Jews, through the duration of their journeys.

It is critical that we support survivors of disasters, wars and conflicts until they are able to rebuild their lives. We must stand with religious and ethnic minorities as long as the threat of violence or genocide rages. We must fight for the rights of women, girls and LGBT people until true equality is achieved. And we must persevere in defending the precious natural resources that sustain our world.

Just as the Israelites needed support at each step of their journey, so too do those around the world who persist in lifting the shadow of suffering and oppression.

If the world hears the cries of the oppressed, but does not come to their aid …
It will not be enough.

If we empower our brothers and sisters to escape violence, but fail to offer them refuge …
It will not be enough.

If our generosity supports the needs of today, but forsakes the needs of tomorrow …
It will not be enough.

However, if we persevere until stability, peace and justice have been attained …

Dayenu! Then it will be enough.