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March 29, 2018 by

Dayenu for the Broken-hearted

if his father had modeled for him closeness, not distance, DAYENU.
if his mother had not coached him how best to thrive under neglect, DAYENU.
if he could have known more tender presence than he’s been shown, DAYENU.
if he could ever love himself enough to let himself be known, DAYENU.
if she had never been made to feel like making him happy was her problem, DAYENU.

if she could give herself the affection she seeks out from men, DAYENU.
if she could feel herself worthy of the affection men seek to give her, DAYENU.
if she could know how readily men use women’s pain to fuel their own heroic journey, DAYENU.
if she would never again feel she is too broken for love, DAYENU.
if she could instead see that love, not she, is what’s broken, DAYENU.

if his parents could have cradled him in love, DAYENU.
if her parents could have cradled her in love, DAYENU.
if their parents’ parents could have cradled them in love, DAYENU.
if their parents’ parents’ parents had been given cradles and love, DAYENU.
if cradles and love all the way down, DAYENU.

Many thanks to Michele Landsberg for inspiring this piece with her piece, “The Women’s Dayenu.”


The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.


  • Audrey Roth

    This is absolutely stunning, and heart-wrenching. Thank you for sharing it.