“It would have been enough,” we sing each year at the seder table. At our seder, it’s one of the most spirited songs. Probably at your seder, too. But I wonder, have modern Jews, especially those of us in America, where consumption is a national pastime, lost the ability to tell what “enough” looks like? Do we really feel like enough is, well, enough?
As Madeleine Somerville points out in her excellent book, All You Need Is Less, “Think about it: when was the last time you thought to yourself, ‘This is good enough’? It feels lazy, somehow, doesn’t it? Isn’t that settling? Shouldn’t we be constantly striving for better, more, higher, faster, bigger? Why would we ever say, ‘Enough’?”
If I never say “enough,” it means I am never stopping in the moment to appreciate and show hakaras hatov for everything HaShem has given me. It means I am attaching more importance to the few things I don’t have rather than the many things I do. It’s an easy mindset to fall into. Without focusing on what I have, I would think more about the new dress I ordered for Pesach that doesn’t look like the picture on the website (there wasn’t enough time to return it and get something new) than about the lovely dresses already in my closet. Without focusing on the fact that my husband and children are all healthy and safe and we will enjoy our family time, I would be focused on the sadness of missing out on having guests for the second Pesach in a row.
As I sit down this year at the seder, I hope to remember that in the times when we Jews were zocheh to eat the Passover lamb at the seder, we were commanded to make sure that none of the meat was left over until the morning, not even one bite. Thus, the only way to truly keep Pesach is to make sure we had, simply, just enough.
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