As I was arriving earlier this evening, I met a woman who had some differences of opinion with me long ago and never seems to have gotten over it. In an effort to make peace I greeted her cheerfully and said, “I wish for you in the New Year what you wish for me.” Her face flushed with anger and she said, “That is a terrible thing for you to say.”
Thus, forewarned, may I say to you: I wish for you what you wish for yourselves and leave me out of it. And what do I wish for you? Someone summed it up in one word: “Enough”
You all know it better in the Hebrew: Dayenu. It would be enough. We are the Dayenu people.
I wish you sunshine in the coming year, even when black clouds threaten, not so much sunshine that when people all over the world watch the New Year’s Day Rose Parade, millions decide to move here; not so much that the thermometer shoots above a hundred just when your air conditioner breaks down, but just enough to make even the grayest day brighter,
I wish you enough rain, so that you appreciate the sun even more, and the crops and your flowers grow, and the air is washed clean; not enough to flood, but just enough so that the dry reservoirs fill up and the sky after the rain is a glorious blue.
I wish you enough money to satisfy your needs, if not all your wants, enough to be able to give some of it away, in charity, to health research, to Israel and other worthy causes.
I wish you enough money for presents for those you love, but not so much that you spoil your children and grandchildren rotten and makes the I.R.S. look hungrily at your tax return.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess, to be grateful for what you have left.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life seem much bigger.
I wish you enough time to do some, if not all, of those wonderful things you did not get to do last year, those ambitious plans that fell through, those visits with people you love you never found time to keep.
I wish you enough kisses from little children, and aging parents, and the sweetheart of your youth to make you forget those moments you feel alone in the world.
I wish you enough happiness to outweigh the bad news of the day and open your eyes to the sheer blessing of being alive and drawing one more breath.
I wish you enough belief in our Creator, the Judge before whom we shall present ourselves in these Yamim Noraim, these Days of Awe, to spread out your record for His and your own judgment and enable Him to inscribe you positively in the Sefer Hachaim, the Book of Life.
I wish you enough hellos to those you love, to get you through the final goodbyes we must all take of one another.
No matter what that lady said, I wish you what I wish myself: to be able to look at my life, even in these troubled times, and say “Dayeinu.” Shanah tova u’m’tukah!