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Craft a Gratitude Wall Hanging Ritual

We are grateful to Rabbis Myra Meskin and Ana Bonnheim and our partner, Moishe House, for creating this activity.

Judaism has many names for God, but there is one in particular that we often see displayed in our homes - particularly on the doorposts. Jewish homes are traditionally marked by the presence of a mezuzah, a door-marker, and they are often adorned with the letter Shin or the word “Shaddai” - representing a particular aspect of the Divine. Many interpret the meaning of this name for God as corresponding with its three Hebrew letters: SHaDDaI, SHomer Delatot Yisrael, The Guardian of the Doors of the People Israel.

 

Today though, we will use the name Shaddai to inspire us through a different meaning. In the Talmud (Chagigah 12a), the rabbis discuss the creation of the world, saying that when God created the sea it continued to expand indefinitely, threatening to take over the rest of creation. It was God who stepped in to say, “I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai]”...I am He Who said to the world “enough [dai].”

 

Most of us are familiar with the concept of “dai” enough from Passover, when we sing the song "Dayenu" it’s enough for us.” Today we utilize the combination of these two traditions - a wall hanging for the home with the name Shaddai, and an original “Dayenu” composition - to express gratitude in these unique times.

 

Opening Reflection: with a piece of paper and pen, take a few moments to make a gratitude list for today - you can use the following prompts for inspiration.

  • Make a gratitude list - what are you grateful for today? Physically/emotionally/spiritually

  • What do you often take for granted?

  • What has #stayathome helped put in perspective? What/who has #stayathome brought back into your life?

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Craft Project:

see Inspiration source here

Materials:

  • Card stock or other paper

  • Pen, marker or paint for writing

  • Driftwood or large wood branch (found or purchased)

  • Spray adhesive

  • Feathers, glitter, beads, string, other items you want to hang

  • Scissors

Steps:

  1. Print, paint or draw the words “Shaddai” or “Dayenu” in Hebrew or English, or other words from your gratitude list. The pieces of cardstock should be about the size of an index card.

  2. Lay your feathers flat in a row on scrap paper, and then lightly spray the feathers with a spray adhesive. Stay 6-8 inches away from your feathers and spray with quick continuous strokes. While the feathers are still tacky sprinkle glitter on top of your feathers. You can also spray glitter on other objects or skip this step entirely if you don’t want glitter. Let dry for 15-20 minutes.

  3. As your feathers or objects dry, tie the string on to each end of the stick forming a triangle when hung. This is how you will hang the wall hanging once finished, so make sure it is tied on securely. You might also need to play with how long your string is depending on how far down you would like it to hang.

  4. After you have your cording secured tie a long piece of string to the middle of the wood. Starting at the top of the string, add the cards with the gratitude phrases, feathers/objects by knotting them to the string. Leave several inches in between feathers and work your way down knotting more feathers, varying of up their shape and size.

  5. Play around with the length and hanging, knowing you can always change it around.

  6. Hang it up on the wall.

Closing Ritual:

Prepare to place the new art in a special spot, potentially a place in your home where you currently spend more time than before.

 

When you are ready to hang it up, hold it in your hands and say the following blessing, using the singular form of dayenu, “dayeni” - “it would be enough for me”:

 

If I only had the air in my lungs, dayeni

If I only had the food in my fridge, dayeni

 

If I only had [insert from your gratitude list], dayeni

If I only had [insert from your gratitude list], dayeni

If I only had [insert from your gratitude list], dayeni

If I only had [insert from your gratitude list], dayeni (insert as many as you like)

 

If I only had the people I love, dayeni

If I only had the comfort of Jewish tradition, dayeni

If I only had this home to keep me safe, dayeni

For all of these blessings, I give thanks to You, Source of Life

Who teaches me to say “I have enough.”