Enu laShem b’sodah, zamru leilokeinu b’chinor.
Call out to Hashem with thanks; with the harp, sing to our G-d.
In this pasuk, David HaMelech is telling us to call out to Hashem in a loud voice to thank Him for all the goodness that He continuously bestows upon us.
There are various types of kindness that Hashem bestows upon us. Four examples are: the kindness we are aware of, the kindness we become more aware of as a result of it being removed for a while, the kindness we almost did not become aware of (if it were not that Hashem allowed us to catch a glimpse of it after the fact), and the kindness that we literally never become aware of (“Magen” in the first brachah of Shemoneh Esrei).
Some of the kindnesses we are aware of include: waking up in the morning, food on our table, a roof over our heads, and when we are saved from danger that we see before us – amongst countless other kindnesses of which we are aware.
Examples of kindnesses we may take for granted, but we become more aware of when they are removed from us or from others for a while, are: functioning without a headache, walking in the street without a mask, being able to daven with a minyan, being able to participate in our friend’s wedding or bar mitzvah celebration, a steady job and income, a sense of taste and smell, and an endless list of daily kindnesses we take for granted until one day we wake up and realize that these kindnesses are not a “given.”
HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l, when he saw someone who was ill or when he passed by a hospital or pharmacy, he would daven for the people to be healed and then he would thank Hashem that he did not need a pharmacy or hospital or that he did not have the illness that an individual he saw had.
Occasionally, we hear about a terrorist plot that was being planned but never materialized. There have been instances where the bomb that terrorists were planning to detonate in a crowded place literally blew up in their faces. Other times, the authorities learn about a terrorist plot and diffuse the danger before it gets off the ground. These are kindnesses from Hashem that we hear about after the fact – where we had no idea that we were in grave danger until Hashem saved us. Other times, we will never know that danger was lurking and that Hashem saved us from a grave danger.
These are just a drop in a vast ocean of kindnesses that Hashem bestows upon us continuously throughout our lives. Let us call out to Hashem and thank Him for the various types of chesed with specific examples in our minds daily. We have many opportunities to do so. Perhaps the most obvious is in the brachah of Modim in Shemoneh Esrei, where we actually thank Hashem for the open and hidden “miracles” (which include “nature”) and goodness that Hashem bestows upon us at all times – evening, morning, and afternoon – which also represent the dark periods of life, the start of brighter days, and the best of times. We say: “…for Your miracles that are with us every day, and for Your wonders and favors in every season, evening, morning, and afternoon.”
[Based on the S’fas Emes, quoted in the sefer Nafshi Cholas Ahavasecha]
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