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Monday, September 26, 2022
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Editor’s Note: The Modern-Day Dayeinu Song appears in The Krengel Family Edition of The Koren Mahzor for Yom HaAtzma’ut and Yom Yerushalayim (https://korenpub.com/koren/intusd/tefilla/mahzor-holiday-prayer-book/yom-haatzmaut-yom-yeruhalayim-mahzor), a historic publication both in content and concept. Rabbi Doron Perez, head of World Mizrahi, writes: “The song Dayeinu that we sing on seder night… is a most powerful guide to the art of appreciation and specifically to the appropriate attitude to the State of Israel in general.” He therefore authored his very own version of Dayeinu, bringing a more contemporary perspective to the traditional passage that we will sing on Passover.

After Passover, we shift our focus to two of the most powerful days in Israel: Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzma’ut. For all those who are interested in deepening their understanding of these days through a philosophical lens, check out the Maidenbaum & Rotenberg Essays in the Mahzor. This collection of essays explores the sociological, historic and halachic ramifications of these days.

If Hashem had brought us back to the Land of Israel,

But not given us a sovereign state,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had given us a sovereign state and allowed us a taste of freedom and dignity for but a moment,

But we would have lost the War of Independence,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had helped us be victorious in the War of Independence,

But we would not have succeeded in building a viable country,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had helped us build a viable country,

But not brought back hundreds of thousands of Jews from Sephardic

and Yemenite backgrounds,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had allowed us to win the Six-Day War,

But not given back to us the holy cities of Ĥevron, Beit El, Shilo, as well

as the Golan Heights,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had given us Ĥevron, Beit El, Shilo, and the Golan Heights,

But not allowed us to liberate the Old City of Yerushalayim,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had allowed us to liberate the Old City of Yerushalayim,

But not allowed us to rebuild her ruins,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had allowed us to rebuild His Old City,

But not made Jerusalem into Israel’s largest city with a population of

over 800,000 people,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had made Jerusalem Israel’s largest city with a population of over 800,000 people,

But not allowed us to live with dignity in secure borders,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had allowed us to live in secure borders,

But not created a strong and sustainable economy,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had built for us a strong and sustainable economy,

But not ingathered the exiles from almost a hundred countries,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had ingathered the exiles from almost a hundred countries,

But not allowed us to rebuild the Torah world in Israel with well over

a hundred thousand men and women studying Torah full-time,

perhaps the most in Jewish history,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had rebuilt the yeshiva and Torah world,

But not produced so many outstanding Torah scholars and leaders,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had produced so many outstanding Torah scholars and leaders,

But not opened the gates of freedom to the oppressed Russian and

Ethiopian Jews,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

If Hashem had opened the gates of freedom to the oppressed Russian and Ethiopian Jews,

But not made Israel’s Jewish population soon-to-be larger than that of world Jewry for the first time in 2,500 years,

Dayeinu—it would have been enough.

The Koren Mahzor for Yom HaAtzma’ut and Yom Yerushalayim now comes in standard and compact sizes. It is available online (https://korenpub.com/koren/intusd/tefilla/mahzor-holiday-prayer-book/yom-haatzmaut-yom-yeruhalayim-mahzor) and at local Jewish bookstores everywhere.

By Rabbi Doron Perez

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