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Dayenu in the Time of Coronavirus

Each year at Passover we go to the home of Nancy and Charlie Behrend to have our Passover Seder. It is a joyful celebration at the table and we all go home stuffed with food and fellowship. It is multi-generational with grandparents and grown kids and grandkids. We ask the four questions? How is this night different from all the rest? This year it is different because of Coronavirus and because we cannot gather like we do around a table with our dearest friends. But our tradition calls on us to be grateful for all that God gives us. Jews say Dayenu. It would have been enough. There is even a song we sing at the Seder. It’s a centuries old song that extols all the things God gave Jews as they went from Egypt. To each we express gratitude by saying Dayenu.

I am trying to process the separation from friends and family this year. Some members of the tribe are doing virtual Seders. Others are coming up with their own faith ritual to mark the occasion. I’m cooking chicken and matzo balls even though it comes out of a box. I’m sure my Christian and Muslim friends are all trying to figure out how to put meaning into the spring holidays of Easter and Ramadan too. Everyone is trying to figure out how to get spiritual fulfillment in a time when we are isolated from one another. It’s not the same when you have to Seder in place during a plague.

But this year we have to say Dayenu. It would be enough knowing our friends and family are social distancing and trying to stay well. It would be enough to practice our rituals and traditions in new ways such as Zoom services and Easter Egg hunts in our yards. It would be enough to be grateful for the people and pets under our roof who comfort us during the day. It would be enough to hear a familiar voice or a caring text from someone thinking of us. It would be enough to do what we can to make this time of year meaningful for those who are less fortunate. So Dayenu. Let’s do all we can to find meaning in these difficult times so we can say Dayenu. Next year in Jerusalem or the Behrend’s Seder table or in church or mosque or at a huge easter egg hunt. Until then, Dayenu.

Written by

Vicky Collins is a freelance television producer and journalist based in Denver, Colorado with a diverse portfolio of projects that include network news, cable programming, Olympic sports, corporate and non-profit videos. Some of her most satisfying assignments have been covering disasters, working in the slums of developing countries and telling stories of people who show great courage in the face of adversity. She has been in all 50 states and on six continents and many of her television stories and photos are posted on her website at To contact Vicky Collins directly email or tweet @vickycollins.

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