Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’
by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships
The offerings in the tabernacle were a means to get closer. One way we get closer to people is to thank them for what they have done for us. Imagine what the reaction would be if you did not say thank you. It would be noticed and not appreciated. So the two words, “thank you”, are a call of closeness.
There is another level to saying thank you. Be specific in your appreciation. For example, “Thank you for helping me carry the groceries in and for taking the heaviest bag.”
There is another level. If you can find a creative way to say thank you it will have a deeper resonance.
When Allen arrived at his synagogue he saw a teenager wearing a yarmulke sitting on the curb. A woman was standing over him dressed in a pink halter top and red shorts. He sensed something had happened.
She introduced herself as a nurse and told him the teenager had started crossing the street but miscalculated when a car driving by would pass him. He hit the back of the car, bounced off and fell on the side of the road. She was in the car behind the one that hit the boy and stopped to offer assistance. She called out,“I will help you.” She told Allen “We should take him into the building. I don’t think anything is wrong, but I just want to check.”
Allen and the nurse stood on either side of the boy as they walked into the synagogue. When they got inside, the nurse realized she was in a religious building and said to the boy and Allen, “I am so embarrassed. I would never walk into a church dressed like this.”Allen looked at her and said, “Angels don’t have to apologize for what they wear.” His call to her was, “Thank you, and you need not be embarrassed for helping him.”
The above are examples of a verbal thank you. There is also a tangible thank you.
My cousin Fred moved back to New York 12 years ago and was looking for a job. He called Dave, an old friend, and asked him if he knew of any openings. Dave answered his call and told him there was a senior position open in his company. Dave then went to his boss and arranged an interview. After the interview, Fred said it went very well and if he got the job he would buy Dave a bottle of water every day he worked there. Fred got the job, and every day he has bought Dave a bottle of water. For the last 12 years! I estimate Fred has spent at least $3000 calling out “Thank you.”
The word “Vayikra” is a call for closeness. One way to get closer is to call out “thank you” in any of its various forms.
by developer in Portion of the Week, Prayer
Then the women took over. Miriam, the prophet, led the women in song, dance and playing a musical instrument. They only sang the first verse. But the first word was different. It was not
“I will sing.”
It was “Sing.”
No preparation, no practice, no warming up was necessary.
Because this sentence went straight to the heart of the matter.
Thank you for my life!
The joyous uplifting of voices belting out heartfelt feelings of gratitude.
The physical manifestation of releasing anxiety and fear, giving way to rapturous movements of the body in order to fully express gratitude.
Instrument. Fusing the body’s rhythm and intensity with something outside itself , magnifying the feelings of the moment.
It was concert.
It was ballet.
It was symphony.
A focused, joyous and sensuous expression of thank you.
How can we apply this? Let me you about Jae. During a visit, she was busy wrapping a package. Curious, I enquired”Who’s getting a present?” She answered, “My parents”. “Oh, an anniversary present” I said. She replied, “No. It’s for my birthday. On my birthday I give my parents a gift…
To thank them for giving me the gift of life.”
Jae sang her own song. She understood what her birth meant and acknowledged it with a present.
There are times when no overture, no preamble, no introductory remarks are necessary.
Just a total expression of thank you.
by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays
I recently reviewed many of the lists and found numerous very personal gifts that constantly change from one day to the next. I also found two experiences that consistently appear in practically every list, and although they occurred many years ago, are very real parts of my everyday life. They are the Foundation Stones of both my life and development.
My grandfather zt”l came into the room where I was having a party celebrating my 11th birthday. We were having a blast playing with, more than eating, the Carvel cake, when he entered the room, and we immediately fell silent and rose in his honor. He stood there watching us with ice cream all over our hands and faces. I imagined that he was thinking back to his 11th birthday in Russia, wistfully wishing they had a Carvel in Dolghinov. I was wrong; he wasn’t thinking about ice cream, but of something else.
“You will finish Shas (The Talmud) for your Bar Mitzvah,” he asked. “Zaidy, it’s impossible!” I protested. “I did it,” he responded. “But I’m not Zaidy,” I argued. “Neither was I when I was your age. The only difference is that I never accepted anything in learning as impossible,” he said, and he left the room.
There we were, relatively normal 11 year olds covered with ice cream and icing, absorbing the verbal beating I had just received. I say “I” because my “friends” all agreed that he was only speaking to me. Thank God, he did speak to me. I dropped the word impossible from my vocabulary and finished the Talmud long before any of those friends. I was not smarter than they, but I had been freed of limitations. That moment is a Foundation Stone in my life. I include it in every thank you to God.
The other Foundation Stone moment was on my first Friday night with my Rebbi, Rabbi Yochanan Zweig. All 15 students gathered their chairs around Rebbi’s immediately after Kabbalat Shabbat and opened their Chumashim. For the next fifteen minutes everyone asked excellent question after powerful question on the first verse of the Portion of the Week. I couldn’t believe that there could be so many excellent questions on one verse. I felt a door open in my mind, and soon found myself joining them in asking. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. We were touching eternity. When we finished our questions, Rebbi asked, “Are you finished?” He then pointed out the numerous thematic questions we missed, followed by a single idea that answered all the questions. I was breathless. My mouth was wide open in awe of my Rebbi and of the infinity of Torah.
I relive that moment every single time I open a Chumash to study a verse. That experience is my other Foundation Stone.
I have many things, past and present, for which I am grateful, but those two moments breathe life into everything I learn and teach. The Thanksgiving list is endless. I cannot mention every detail small and large, for which I am grateful, but I keep a special list of two foundations for which I can never even begin to express my gratitude.
I suggest that you, too, make two lists. Details and Foundations. You will find that your Thanks will become Giving; it will give you so much, and will help you give much more to others.
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah
by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth
When we describe the Ten Plagues, the miracles of the Exodus, and the Splitting of the Sea to our children in the Haggadah, we want them to feel exactly as Nabokov felt about his rare butterfly, without the “tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.”
We want them to feel so overwhelmed by God’s miracles and love that they experience ecstasy and the thrill of gratitude. That is why the Haggadah is not satisfies with Ten Plagues and one miracle at the Sea, but expands the Plagues into 40 and then 50 and insists that 50 miracles, no, 200, no, 250 miracles occured at the Sea. We want our children to experience the same ecstasy that our ancestors felt while observing the Plagues and while crossing the Sea.
We want that ecstasy to expand into the thrill of gratitude and we therefore list the 15 miracles of the Dayeinu immediately after the description of the Splitting of the Sea.
The ecstasy and gratitude must be “like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love,” so we conclude Maggid with that most powerful expression of love – the Hallel.
We do not need the rare butterfly. We need only to reflect on our history.
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.