In the United States, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. This American holiday gives us an opportunity to thank the Native Americans who were so kind to the Pilgrims as well as an opportunity to thank G-d for all of His blessings. The Founding Fathers of our country recognized that there is a “Supreme Being” that gives and sustains our lives. These strong moral beliefs, upon which our country was founded, are stated in our Pledge of Allegiance; one nation, under G-d, and is displayed on our paper currency. Every bill has the printed words, “In G-d We Trust." This recognizes and acknowledges that achievements in our great nation are by the grace of G-d.
As Jews, we have an opportunity to thank Hashem every day. In the blessing of thanksgiving we recite -modim anachnu lach- we thank you. One of the first tefillot that our children learn is Modeh Ani. This prayer thanks G-d for restoring our neshama each morning and enables us to arise and start a new day filled with blessings.
To acknowledge the kindness received from one another is called Hakarat Ha Tov. Lechakir means to recognize or acknowledge and Tov is goodness. Hakarat Ha Tov is more than just gratitude. We recognize the good that is done specifically for us. When we interact with others, we are given opportunities to acknowledge the benefit we have received from them. When you live a life filled with Hakarat Ha Tov and gratitude, you give thanks to everyone and everything that has benefited you. Saying "thank you” and acknowledging the good in others becomes contagious.
As we are nearing the holiday of Thanksgiving, please take a moment to focus on all that you have and all of your blessings. Showing appreciation to others is important. Our ultimate Hakarat Ha Tov response to Ha Shem is manifested through our fulfillment of His mitzvot.
Shabbat Shalom and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mrs. Debbie Hamburg
Elementary School Principal