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Parshat Shelach Lecha-Prepare your grateful lists

Prepare your grateful lists

Upon awakening each morning, the first thing we do is utter the words, “modeh ani”, thanking G-d for restoring our souls to us after the night’s sleep. The prayer reads as follows:(Transliteration) Modeh ani lifanecha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bi nishmahti b’chemlah, rabah emunatecha

Translation I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great

 We are taught this prayer almost as early as we begin to speak for it is incumbent upon us to realize the blessings and gifts that He bestows upon us and demonstrate our thanks and gratitude towards G-d . We are taught very early on in our lives, not to take things for granted and to demonstrate our appreciation and thankfulness and our feelings of gratitude towards all kindness and benefits received and from whom we receive them. As a person experiences the phenomena of the new day, he (she) should thank G-d for His gifts and  as we prepare ourselves for our daily activities we read out our “grateful list” (these are called Birchot Hashachar)  a list of blessings that G-d has bestowed upon us and we thank him by mentioning our detailed feelings of gratitude towards kindness and benefits received the Talmud, (Tractate Brachot 60b), lists a series of fifteen Brachot, most of which are Brachot of Thanksgiving. (Tractate Menachot 43b, adds three more to the list.) Our Sages teach us that a Jew should count his blessings try to say at least 100 Brachot (blessings)during the course of the  day.


How many of us wake up in the morning and really count our blessings? Do we really feel gratitude to G-d that was can see? That we can walk? That we can talk? That we can hear? I dare say that many of us are guilty of taking these precious gifts and so many others for granted! Many of us  tend to complain more rather than counting ones blessings- being grateful means we have less to complain about. It makes life happier, knowing and actually being conscious that we have so much

“Modeh ani” comes from the word “hodaya” which means thanks (todah). Todah is also derived from the word “hodaah” which means to admit. In addition to giving thanks to G-d for all of His constant blessings, we admit that we are unable to accomplish anything without the help of G-d. Gratitude is a positive state of mind and expressing it gives us a sense of happiness abundance and well being
 In our daily lives, we must see “that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” in addition showing gratitude to our fellow man brings great contentment and happiness to the recipient.


The saddest day in the Jewish Calendar is connected with ingratitude In this week’s Parshat Shlach, we see the tragic consequence of ingratitude; when the spies return from The Land that G-d promised them, The Land of milk and honey, they complain that it will be too difficult to conquer due to the fact that giants inhabit it and are much stronger than them. G-d’s response to their report is: “To what point will this people anger Me, and how long will they not have faith in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in its midst?” Their unappreciative attitude resulted in 40 years of wandering in the desert, instead of being led directly into the Promised Land. The Talmud says it was the Sin of the Spies (Meraglim in Hebrew) that was the cause for many tragedies throughout history including the destruction of the Temples which are commemorated on the same date Tisha B’Av that the Spies made their false report …


Upon hearing the spies’ words, the Jewish people wailed a collective cry, and with that cry, the Almighty sealed their fate for generations, saying that since today you “cried for nothing, on this same date in the future you will truly have something to cry for.” That day was Tisha B’Av -Tisha B’Av is a day of national mourning when we fast and ponder on the tragic results of ingratitude and the importance of gratitude for blessings received

Ingratitude causes us to magnify the negative in our lives  while minimizing and ignoring the overwhelmingly positive aspects our lives. When we become aware that no one “owes us” anything and become aware of the fact that when we are the recipients of kindheartedness, appreciation for such kindness must not go unnoticed nor unexpressed

Gratitude is referred to in Hebrew as “Hakarat Hatov” which means that we recognize the good we receive and realizes that it is not just expected and taken for granted. Gratitude and appreciation are essential keys and necessary character traits in building a relationship between G-d and ourselves and between  man and man  

We should be grateful for our existence in this world, that God has created us and given us a good life. We should be grateful for our family for the love and care We should be grateful for -please prepare your grateful lists for today

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