Each Sunday morning our Beit Sefer students begin their singing/worship session led by Cantor Cotler with gratitude.
Modah Ani Lifanecha,
I am grateful before You, they sing.
Sometimes Cantor asks them to mention what it is for which they are most thankful. As we approach Thanksgiving, I am grateful that our Jewish tradition focuses on appreciation each day of the year in our morning prayers, and that our American tradition, even with troubling aspects of the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday, pushes us to explore aspects of our lives for which we are most grateful. Each year as we sit around a table filled with an abundance of food, my family members offer aspects of their recent year for which they are feeling most grateful. The sharing is often deep, hitting highs and emerging from lows.
By focusing on the middah (soul trait) of gratitude, HaKarat HaTov, our lens, our thoughts, and our actions can shift. In the words of Alan Morinis, “when you open yourself to experience the trait of gratitude, you discover with clarity and accuracy how much good there is in your life.”
Rabbi London writes: “Practicing HaKarat HaTov can shift our perspective from one of lack to one of abundance. This feeling of being blessed with plenty and that our bounty is the product of the fertile soil on which we toil can turn our attitude of ‘I deserve it’ to ‘I’m fortunate. It hasn’t always been like this. Look how far I’ve come with God’s help. How can I share my blessings with others?”
I hope that you are enjoying your Thanks-giving weekend with family and friends.
Wishing you a peaceful and calm Shabbat,
Director of Lifelong Learning