web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



The Significance Of Saying Dayenu


Family-logo

The pictures had been removed from the wall a while back. Carefully and methodically, they had been placed in the back of her desk drawer, a spot that could be reached only if one were looking for something intentionally. Other pictures were inconspicuously hanging in the corner, situated on a wall blocked by a large, mismatched piece of furniture. There were also loose photographs, neatly stacked in their original envelope, discreetly placed in an unmarked folder located in the back of her filing cabinet.

A few remained on the wall, but only a few. It was too painful for her to view them all, facing her directly day after day, reminding her of a time that was, a period in her life she could never again retrieve.

Normally she would not consider even touching them, let alone viewing them. However at this time of year, when Pesach cleaning is in the air, she could not help but rummage through some of her drawers and cabinets. Discovering the envelopes and gazing at its contents, she is overtaken by a powerful urge – evoking within her curiosity – to pick them up. One by one she scans each photo; contemplating – reminiscing – listening to her inner voice reflecting upon those earlier years.

“I can’t get over that smile; it’s so angelic. He’s so adorable and cute! I could just eat him up! How did I not see that back then? Sure I played with him as any nurturing mother would. But I have little recollection of enjoying this precious child during those tender toddler years. And yet, the one thing that does stand out vividly in my mind is my complaining, and my lack of patience at his screaming and whining. How could I have wasted that time?”

Had she known then what she understands presently – that her baby’s screaming and whining are a part of G-d’s Master Plan for her to develop patience – then maybe she would have said dayenu.

She picks up another batch of photos. This pile appears to be that of her son’s earlier school years. Flipping through each one and pondering that period in her life, she thinks about her son’s adjustment to school, homework, learning, friendships. And, within seconds, her thoughts are focused on his temperament.

Her inner voice painfully speaks: “Nothing was easy for him, or for me. Everything seemed to have been a struggle and an issue, from ending playtime and doing homework to brushing teeth and bedtime. Whatever I said was met with resistance. And to think the toddler years were tough! Oh, how I wish that stage could reappear!”

Had she appreciated then what she is thankful for today- that her child’s resistance and arguing are a part of G-d’s Master Plan for her to acknowledge his sharp mind and intelligence – then perhaps she could have said dayenu.

She gasps when she picks up the next envelope. The childlike face is gone; four inches taller, his body filled out and he’s suddenly a young man. Ah yes, the onset of adolescence. There he is in his Purim costume with a bottle of beer in hand and an unlit cigarette in his mouth.

As she gapes, her inner voice projects confusion: “Look at him; he thinks he’s an adult but he shows no responsibility. How could someone be so bright, ask profound questions and achieve such high grades throughout his academic career only to dismiss it all now. His learning means little compared to his social life. Even sports activities have gone by the wayside. The non-stop arguments over homework, curfew and, going to shul and davening are a daily struggle. His chutzpah is rampant. How I yearn for those days when the only major issues were teeth-brushing, homework and bedtime.”

Had she observed then what she notices now – that amidst her son’s compelling socializing behaviors are a part of G-d’s Master Plan for her to recognize and focus on his interpersonal skills; and to praise the exemplary character traits (middos) he embodies and demonstrates toward his friends and others – then it’s possible she would have said dayenu.

In another unmarked folder, a more recent picture lay dormant. She picks up a single passport photo. It’s the only picture she has of her son during this juncture. His hair is wild, long and partially colored. He is bedecked with piercing and jewelry. And he dresses in clothing she never imagined would have entered into her home.

Tears begin to emerge as her inner voice cries: “Why didn’t the schools try harder to keep him? Why couldn’t some of his better friends stick with him? When did the transformation take place? One minute his tzitzis are flying out of his pockets, and before my very eyes, they’re replaced with tattered jeans and tee shirts. How I wish we could quarrel just a bit. Oh, how I wish he would disagree with me about curfew. But how could he? Between his staying out a large part of the night and sleeping most of the day, our paths rarely cross. Between his grunts and depressing look, there are few words spoken between us.”

Had she felt then what she senses at this moment – that her son’s unhappiness and disengagement from the family are a part of G-d’s Master Plan for her to feel her son’s loneliness and to raise compassion for his pain and struggles – then she might have most assuredly said dayenu.

With the advent of the Pesach Sedarim, perhaps now might be a good time to move the theme of dayenu beyond the realm of the Hagaddah. Consider the following:

If your struggling teenage daughter shows up to the family Seder, appreciate that she came and has a desire to be a part of the family. If you hug her, give her a kiss and truly make her feel she belongs with you, you might feel fulfilled when you say dayenu.

If your struggling teenage son drops in while you are in the midst of the Seder and if he quickly escapes to the security of his room, appreciate that he came home.You might, then, excuse yourself from the table and go to his room with a piece of kugel or some other yom tov delicacy. And as you smile warmly and kiss him while wishing him a good yom tov, the love and compassion you demonstrate might help you feel uplifted when you say dayenu.

May Hashem strengthen all struggling families with chizuk and hope, and provide personal salvation and redemption to the entire family.

Debbie Brown is a certified life coach specializing in parent coaching, and is an NLP practitioner. She is available for private, confidential phone coaching sessions as well as lectures and group workshops. For further information or to express feelings regarding the Parental Perspective topic, Debbie may be contacted at lovetoughcoach@aol.com

If you would like to read Debbie’s archived articles, log on to www.jewishpress.com and, in the search box on the home page, type in Debbie Brown.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Significance Of Saying Dayenu”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A third assault in France in which assailant yelled "Allahu Akbar" before attacking others.
Another French ‘Allahu Akbar’ Attack, Driver Slams into Crowd
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

Respler-121914

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Kupfer-121914

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

More Articles from Debbie Brown
Family-logo

Having parented a struggling adolescent for several years, Yael was expecting that life would be different for her now twenty-year old son. She was, and still is, an excellent student, diligently applying the tools she has been gaining in our coaching sessions. Harmony and peace has returned to her home, and the relationship (with her son) she was working on mending has become a reality. Admittedly, she attributes the restored relationship to a parenting methodology she has undertaken — the love-tough approach.

Family-logo

Toxic Language Tishrei — and the yom tov pattern returns! Of which pattern am I speaking, you ask? If we were to identify the main aspects of each of the holidays during this month, generally speaking, and in rather simplistic behavioral terms, the pattern of the night and following day might look something along the […]

Recently, I asked a family friend, a financial advisor, to share with me his perspective on the importance of rapport in the world of sales. In a general way, I knew that successful salespeople maintain good rapport with their clients. And so I was curious. Was the need for developing rapport in business any different than doing so in a parent-child relationship? To that end, I posed the following questions: “How do you establish rapport with a new client? And what do you believe is a key issue to creating rapport?

A political figure refuses to comment on a current news story in which he is involved.. In the hope of avoiding a scuffle with her parents, a teenager, who has broken curfew, quietly opens up the front door. As she makes a mad dash to her room, she tries to avoid being noticed and questioned. In both situations, a lack of communication may be perceived as failure on the part of the individual to take responsibility for his/her actions, and/or an admission of guilt. In such cases when the person does not say yes, the message being conveyed to others can be perceived as noby default, and vice versa.

The Meaning of The Communication Is The Response It Elicits

In most homes, as women prepare to join the Seder (hopefully, somewhat rested), the anticipatory anxiety associated with the “P” word (pre-Pesach angst) is no longer. The cleaning, preparations, shopping and cooking are now a thing of the past. And finally, the Hagaddah’s legacy of yetzias Mitzrayim (exodus from Egypt) takes front stage.

What does it mean to be validated? In what areas of life can one expect to be validated? What attitude, behaviors or actions convey a message (or feeling) to someone that s/he is being validated? How does one validate, or invalidate? What benefits are there to validating and being validated – in the short term as well as long term?

In the first two parts of this four-part series, we discussed the need to validate someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one. Utilizing a Rabbinic illustration, we presented the story of Rav Yochanan ben Zakai when he sat shivah for his son. The focus was on his receiving consolation: why he received comfort from his one student, Rav Elazer ben Aruch, and not from his other four students. Now let us move to a Biblical backdrop as we continue.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-significance-of-saying-dayenu/2009/04/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: