“I give thanks before Your Presence,
eternal and living God
who returns my soul within me
Abundant is Your faithfulness.”
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ |
מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם |
שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי |
רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ: |
|Modeh ani lifanecha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bee nishmahti b’chemlah. Rabah emunatecha.|
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Have you said "thank you" today yet? During this month of Elul I have been trying to make sure to say thank you as often as I am able. Gratitude is such a basic attribute, yet incorporating a sense of appreciation and thankfulness into our lives often eludes us. Our Jewish tradition offers us a simple way to do so: As the morning arrives each day, we are encouraged to say these words:
I remember having to be reminded to write thank you notes and say thanks as a child. When I was a college student, my grandfather, of blessed memory, even resorted once to including, with a gift he and my grandmother sent me, a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a note for me to sign that said "Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Thanks so much for the gift. Love, Jimmy." I learned the lesson and never forgot to write them a thank you note again. Ever since, I have striven to remember to say thank you, to be grateful, each day. Some days it is easier than others. But there is so much, so very much, for which to be grateful.
While in Israel this summer I heard the music of an Israeli folk singer and poet named Meir Ariel, whose short life ended tragically in 1999. The impact of his music and lyrics remains, however, and one of his most haunting melodies is entitled "Modeh Ani - I give thanks." Discovered by a friend of Meir Ariel's on a homemade recording and in handwritten notes after his death, Ariel's words and music inspire me. I hope they do for you as well:
"Modeh Ani" by Meir Ariel
על כל החסד והאמת
והטובה והרעה והטובה
ועם קרובי וידידי ועם בני עמי
ועם ארצי, ועם כל העולם והאדם
בלאט, חרש חרש
אט אט, טופפות
עתידות עתידות לקראתנו,
ואת מחייכת אלי מתוך השינה.
יהיה לנו טוב, טוב מטוב, טוב מאוד,
זה מתחיל כבר בבוקר בבוקר
את צוחקת אלי
מתוך מתוך השינה.
For all Your truth and grace
and the good, and the bad, and the good
That You've done with me and with my household
And with my relatives, friends and fellow citizens
And with the whole world and its people
That You've created
Slowly, and silently
Is our future to come
And You, are smiling, to me from your sleep
Things will get better, much better, you'll see
It starts early in the morning
And You, are laughing
To me, from your sleep.
Thanks for reading and listening,
Rabbi Jim Bennett