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An Insight into the Meaning of Dayenu

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Topic: Pesach, Saturday Night

Professor David Mitchell from SMU asks:

Dear Rabbi,

In the song "Dayenu" we say that if G-d brought us to Mount Sinai and did not give us the Torah it would have been enough. How can that be? Could you explain?

Dear Professor David Mitchell,

Certainly we don't mean that we could envision life without the Torah, or without any of the fifteen "Ma'alot" mentioned in the song of Dayenu. What we mean is that we have reason to be thankful for His bringing us to Mount Sinai -- just being at Sinai bestowed upon us great benefit. The incredible unity that we experienced, the cleansing from the effects of the sin of Adam and Eve, and the closeness to G-d that we achieved, were all so precious that they deserve thanksgiving and praise in their own right.

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