gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Enough Is Not Enough - Poem by gershon hepner


Enough we know is not enough,
although we falsely claim
it is. Of course it's really tough
having to declaim
each year the same hyperbole,
before we face with horror
reality we herbally
correct when eating moror,
realizing enough applies
to what is bitter, but
the good dayenus are all lies
that we don't dare to cut
out of the haggadah. This stuff
is meant to praise Hashem,
who of such praise can't have enough.
Just saying "Ibidem"
is not enough from Him, He needs
to hear the praise again
and yet again, and then recedes
before we say amen,
perhaps to watch how Eliyahu
drinks so much wine. It's tough
for him-from New York to Oahu
he may not say "Enough! "

Howard Jacobson writes in Tablet,4/3/12 an article about "Dayenu": "Dayenu? Enough Already. If there were such a thing as a perfect Jewish joke, it might just be ‘Dayenu, ' the Passover punch line that is never enough."

"Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future, " declaimed the Anglo-Catholic poet T. S. Eliot. Jewish time is more vertiginous still because of the element of joking we impart to it. "Oy, am I thirsty, " cries the old Jewish man. "Oy, am I thirsty! " Alarmed bystanders give him a drink. Gratefully, he glugs it down. "Oy, " he cries, "was I thirsty! "

Then and now change places in the absurd hyperbole of suffering. But at least to be able to say we were thirsty is a liberation, if not from the memory of thirst, then from thirst itself. This liberation is what the Dayenu commemorates. The comic repetition of "it would have sufficed us" asserts that there still is time for such a word, that it will go on sufficing whatever happens. In this, does it not epitomize the spirit of re-telling, re-making, and re-remembering that is the Passover itself?

4/3/12 ` #9777

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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