At the Passover Seder we sing Dayenu, a song about the various miracles that God performed for the Jewish people from the time of the Exodus through building the Temple.
We tend to view Dayenu as a song of gratitude, thanking God for each act he did.
But there’s an equally important part that we overlook: what the Jewish people did.
Walking Out the Door
At various points along the way, the people had to take action, otherwise there would have been no need for the miracles that followed.
In Dayenu we sing that God “took us out of Egypt,” but it was really more a process of God’s opening the doors for the Jews to leave Egypt. Nobody forced them to leave Egypt. They had to physically pack up and walk through the threshold.
On one hand you might think: they were slaves; that’s an easy decision. But it’s never that easy to leave the place you know, even if you are suffering in that place.
Many people stay for too long in relationships, jobs, and homes that no longer serve them. We often resist leaving a place of comfort, even when we have discomfort there.
The Jews of ancient Egypt may have been suffering in slavery, but they had certainty about their lives. Leaving Egypt raised a host of uncertainty. They didn’t know where they were going or what it would be like. They had to trust.
A Pattern of Taking the Next Step
This pattern of listening and responding to the call follows throughout the Exodus story.
God split the Red Sea, but the people had to take the steps to walk through.
In the desert, God took care of the people by giving them the manna so they wouldn’t have to think about where to get food. But they had to show their trust that God would continue to provide for them by taking only that day’s portion of manna and no more.
God brought them to Mount Siani and offered them the Torah, but they had to agree to receive it before God gave it to them.
God gave us the Sabbath, but we must to choose to honor it.
God gave us the land of Israel, but we had to choose to fight for it and protect it.
He gave the people the instructions to build Temple, but they were the ones who built it.
A Collaborative Process
What we see in these examples is that the the Jewish people of ancient Egypt were not passive bystanders to these miracles.
At every step of the way, the Jews had to show up and take action. Some actions were obvious, physical actions that would be evident to outside viewers, like packing up and leaving Egypt, crossing through the Red Sea, or building the Temple.
Other actions were inner work, evident by restraint, or what they didn’t do: taking only one day’s portion of manna, honoring the Sabbath.
The text of Dayenu says:
If God had only taken us out of Egypt, it would have been enough.
The subtext says:
If we hadn’t walked out the door to leave Egypt, the miracles would have stopped.
How to Manifest Miracles
When we look at Dayenu through this lens, we can see that there’s a lesson here for us about how to manifest miracles.
Miracles are a collaborative and co-creative process. If you want to attract miracles, the first step is to listen to what’s being called from you. The second step is to show up.
That’s not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes we get called to do things that don’t make sense, go against our intuitive nature, or pull us into places of uncertainty and discomfort.
Indeed, many people hear the calling and resist it, then wonder why they don’t experience miracles.
if you’re looking to manifest more miracles in your life, Dayenu teaches you this simple and profound lesson:
Miracles require collaboration. You can’t just pray for a miracle. You must listen to the guidance and take action.
God opens the door, but you choose whether to walk through the threshold. The more you do so, the more doors open for you.
Miracles show up when you do.