On Sunday evening, November 15, Chazaq, Renewal, Thank You Hashem, and TorahAnytime presented a shiur on the topic of gratitude. Rabbi Uri Lati began with an example in the Chumash where it states that Leah was hated by Yaakov. It wasn’t that Leah was hated – it’s just that Yaakov loved Rachel more. Hashem saw this and he gave Leah sons after sons. “When she felt hated, then Hashem switched everything around.” With Hashem, there is no concept of evil. Sometimes medicine is bitter, but its purpose is to heal. Hashem is there to heal us – to make us stronger.
“At times, Hashem performs so many miracles for us and saves us from things we know nothing about.” There is an idea that Hashem performs miracles by Himself. Only Hashem knows what He saved us from. In truth, every day Hashem saves us from things we don’t even know about.
Balak and Bilam had a plan to curse am Yisrael. Hashem changed this plan.
Rabbi Lati shared the mashal of two friends running to catch a ship. One of them doesn’t make it to the ship with all his merchandise. His shoe gets stuck on a nail. The other man made the ship. The one who missed the ship feels this happened to him at the worst time. The next day, the man who missed the ship finds out that the ship sank with all the merchandise on it. He thanked Hashem that his merchandise was not on the ship.
“If Hashem only gave us the merit to say, ‘Hashem, thank You,’ that alone would suffice.” When Mashiach comes, the only korban that will remain is the Korban Todah. “After everything is said and done, we have to thank Hashem for giving us the opportunity to thank Him.”
In Modim, we thank Hashem for giving us the opportunity to thank Him. We thank Hashem because He chose us as His beloved children and gave us the opportunity to thank Him.
Rabbi Lati noted that if Hashem would have only created bread and water, it would have sufficed. Hashem created fruits and vegetables of all varieties. There are even so many types of apples. Hashem wants us to derive pleasure. He loves us so much. He wants us to say Thank You. “He loves to hear us say, ‘Thank You, Hashem.’”
“When we remember, acknowledge, and say Thank You, it will sprout off and give Hashem reasons to keep giving to us.” When we thank Hashem in dark days, that will bring our biggest salvation. The B’eir Mayim Chayim teaches that when we say, “Thank You, Hashem,” Hashem is saying Thank You to you.
A mother wants to give the milk she has to her baby. She experiences pain when she can’t give the milk. A kind person wants to offer kindness to others. This is exactly how Hashem feels. He has so much goodness that He wants to shower on us. If He can’t give it to us, then it pains Him.
When we say, “Thank You, Hashem,” Hashem is saying Thank You to us because He created so much and He wants to give us more and more. Rabbi Lati shared a mashal from Rav Chaim Kanievsky that illustrated that Thank You is not just words. It’s a formula for prolonged life. The Rashba taught that by thanking Hashem you are prolonging your life.
Every day in the morning, we recite Modeh Ani, thanking Hashem for returning our soul to us.
Before we go to sleep, we thank Hashem for giving us our soul as collateral and for hopefully returning it to us in the morning.
“We need to have an attitude of always thanking Hashem for good days and bitter days. If we do this, then Hashem says He will give us more things to thank Him for.”
Rabbi Lati shared that a Renewal tz’dakah box reminds us to start and end the day thanking Hashem. If we are not on the level or are unable to donate a kidney, then giving to the Renewal tz’dakah box in the morning and at night expresses thanks before the day starts and at the end of the day. “How many things do we take for granted?” You can receive a Renewal tz’dakah box just by texting your request to the following number: 732-996-9694.
By Susie Garber