Seven Things to be Grateful for at the Seder
Especially the handprint on the fridge.
I like our home to be neat and organized, and I am usually fairly meticulous about keeping the house clean. But a few weeks ago I noticed a perfectly formed little handprint on our refrigerator and I couldn’t bring myself to wipe it off. It is my youngest child’s handprint and every time I look at it, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I wake up in the morning to get milk for my coffee, look at the handprint and think: Dayeinu – it is all enough. Thank you for my children. For my home. For my life. For this month and this holiday when we are given the chance to remember all the blessings in our lives.
Here are seven things to be grateful for at the Seder:
1. Freedom. Thank You for taking us out of Egypt, and transforming our slavery into freedom. Thank You for the freedom today that we have to live as Jews and choose our beliefs. There are people in parts of the world who are still not free, and we pray for them. May they be rescued from tyranny, from poverty, and from danger. Thank You for making us free.
2. Spiritual growth. Thank You for this chance to move from our narrow definitions of ourselves to the limitless potentials of who we can become. This opportunity for each of us to see ourselves as if we are leaving Egypt, climbing beyond the constraints of yesterday and beginning our own personal journeys towards greatness.
3. Connection. Thank You for bringing all of us here together to celebrate this holiday. Thank You for the gift of family and friends. Thank You for the incredible blessing of seeing generations sitting beside each other and singing the songs of our ancestors. Thank You for each other.
4. Home. Thank You for giving us shelter. For this beautiful table overflowing with food and drinks. For the chairs, the table and the lights. For the flickering candles and the fragrant flowers. For all the material goodness that You pour into our lives every moment of every day, thank You.
5. Torah. Thank You for the Torah which brings light and wisdom and joy into our lives. For the guidance that it gives us and the depths of beauty that it reveals. For the lessons that it teaches us and the stories that it encompasses us with. For its songs and its journeys, thank You.
6. History. Thank You for giving us this opportunity to tell the story of our nation. To go back to the beginning of where we began and walk in the footsteps of our people. To feel their pain and remember their courage. To connect their stories to our own stories. How we began and where we have been. The challenges that we have overcome, and the moments that have defined us. The history of our nation and of each of our families. The stories that must be told and retold so that our children can write their own stories. Thank You for this, for our history, and the stories that keep our journey alive.
7. Life. Thank You for bringing each one of us here, this year at this time. For sustaining us and giving us life. For the incredible gift of sitting at our Seder table and hearing the blessing of Shechiyanu and looking around us at a table surrounded by those we love.
For all these gifts and so much more, thank You. I can still see the faint handprint of my son’s hand on our fridge. I hope it is still there when the Seder begins because in his hand, I see Your Hand. The Handprint of creation. The Handprint of freedom and growth and life that you have poured into our own hands. Dayeinu, it is enough. It is more than enough. I look at the handprint on the fridge and think how blessed we truly are to be Your children, children who can see Your Hand in their lives and leave their own handprints behind as they light up the world with Your blessings.