Wouldn’t such a detailed expression of gratitude be more powerful and meaningful and inspiring to that young bar mitzvah boy and his listeners then just a general “thank you”?
So now, my dear friend, let’s try to offer our own Dayenu song:
“I thank You, G-d, for having blessed me with a wonderful husband.
“I thank You for opening my eyes and opening the eyes of my husband so that we realized we were each other’s bashert.
“I thank You for the shalom bayis we had in our home.
“I thank You for the laughter and the joy – and, yes, I thank You for teaching me how to deal with sorrow and pain so that we came even closer because of our challenges.
“I thank You for giving us healthy children.
“I thank You for granting us the privilege of providing them with a nice home and a good education.
“I thank You for the awesome gift of permitting both of us to walk them to the chuppah.
“I thank You for healthy grandchildren.
“I thank You for the sustenance that has enabled me to live independently and not be beholden to anyone.
“I thank You for the ability to give tzedakah.
“I thank You for the good health with which you’ve blessed me.
“I thank You for the many vacations and travels my husband and I enjoyed.
“I thank You for having allowed my beloved husband to return his soul to You without degradation.
“I thank You for all my good memories.
“I thank You for the fact that my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren live in close proximity to me.
“I thank You for the fact that I have a daughter living in Jerusalem and raising her children in the Holy Land.
“I thank You for my friends with whom I can share my days.
“I thank You for not allowing me to be a shut-in in my own home.
“I thank You.
“I thank You.
“I thank You.”
The list is seemingly endless. Examine your life and recite Psalm 100 – the Psalm of Thanksgiving. Yes, you have many things to be grateful for and rejoice in.
Having said all that, I recognize and empathize with your feelings; it’s not easy to be alone, especially after you have tasted the warmth and the love of a good marriage. I also appreciate that people telling you about others who are sick, lonely and abandoned will not eliminate your own pain and loneliness.
My revered mother, Rebbetzin Miriam Jungreis, a”h, was very ill in her final years. People would often try to comfort her by relating stories of those who were wrestling with terrible suffering. “People are crazy,” my mother would say in Yiddish. “They tell me tragic stories thinking it will make me content and help me resign myself to my illness. How nonsensical. I should have satisfaction in knowing someone else has even greater tzuris? If anything, such stories break my heart and make me feel even sadder.”
I’ve often thought about my beloved mommy’s words and how right she was. I write this so that you may know I understand and feel the pain you have despite all the many beautiful dayenus you’ve merited in your life.
(To Be Continued)Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
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