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Vaera-Hakarat Hatov is Thanksgiving

Hakarat Hatov is Thanksgiving

 Although we typically associate Moshe with bringing the 10 plagues upon Egypt, a careful examination of the verses reveals that Hashem actually commanded Moshe to have Aharon bring about the first three plagues. Rashi deals with the question of why Aharon and not Moshe brought the plague of Blood upon Egypt. (Hashem told Moshe to tell Aharon to stretch out his staff over the waters of the Nile and all other sources of water and they will turn to blood).

 Rashi says: LEFI SHEHEGIN HAYE’OR AL MOSHE, “because the river had protected Moshe when he was cast into it…” Because Moshe needed to show gratitude and sense of appreciation to the river which had protected him when he was placed there as an infant, it was inappropriate for him to strike the water.

 The same instruction from G-d was received regarding the plague of frogs and of lice. The frogs came from the river and the lice from the sand that aided Moshe to hide the Egyptian when he smote him.

 Thus it was Aaron and not Moshe who initiated the first three plagues by striking the Nile River or the ground. He changed the water in Egypt to blood by striking the Nile River with Moses’ staff. He later struck the water to bring up a swarm of frogs upon the Egyptians. He also initiated the third plague of lice by striking the Egyptian soil. Our sages attribute Aaron’s designation to initiate first three plagues to the fact that both the river and the earth protected Moses.

 These examples highlight an important principle in Judaism known as HAKARAT HATOV acknowledge kindness received by showing appreciation for the good someone does for you. What is especially noteworthy here is that this principle applies not only to other humans but also to inanimate objects. The water and the sand could not know the difference whether Moshe or Aharon performed the action causing the plague. Yet it is necessary to show gratitude to an inanimate object

Ofcourse, the water or earth do not have feelings and are not sensitive to a lack of gratitude What is important, however is that Moshe recognized that he had benefited from two inanimate objects; therefore, he must demonstrate his gratitude. Aharon performed the necessary action and this was Moses’ way (by instruction of G-d) of showing gratitude to the river and the earth.

 Everything is the creation of Hashem and we have to treat it as such with respect… Everything is Hashem’s creation and deserves our deep appreciation. . How can we continue to damage the natural world when it has given us so much?

 It is essential to note that if we learn to treat inanimate objects with respect, we will get to certainly come to show  evengreater appreciation and gratitude to people.

 

 

 

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