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Rabbi Lader
Rabbi Lader

Modim Anachnu Lach - We Give Our Thanks to You

Every day we have the opportunity to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives. Not just every day, but three times each day - for those who pray the morning, afternoon, and evening services. And not just three times each day, but the Rabbis teach us that we should recite one hundred blessings each day. Of course, if one is praying the morning, afternoon, and evening services, there are quite a few blessings already said... But, I think it goes deeper than just "counting your blessings" (so to speak).

In the Modim prayer - prayer of Thanks - we thank God "...for our lives which are in Your hand, for our souls which are in Your care, for Your miracles that we experience every day and for Your wonderous deeds and goodness at every time of day..." [Based on the translation in Mishkan T’filah]

Our tradition invites us to be aware of what we have and to be thankful for what we have. How distressing to think that there are those who walk blindly through their lives, lacking awareness of and/or appreciation for all the beauty that is around them. Our tradition teaches us about the importance of intention: focusing on the food we are about to eat, the candles we are about to light, the rainbow we see, the vastness of the ocean (and the lake) that lies before us, the joy in seeing someone we haven’t seen in a long time, the awe of our gorgeous sunsets, the relief in regaining health, the family and friends that gather around the dinner table... And following that intention, we recite a brachah - a blessing giving thanks for the miracles of nature, expressing appreciation for the joy of Shabbat, being thankful to God for "giving us life, sustain us, and enabling us to reach this very special time..." With each acknowledgement of thanks, we remind ourselves that each blessing is truly more than the wonderous deeds of OUR hands...

Sharing our awareness of and thankfulness for our blessings each and every day with gracious humility can bring even more meaning to our Thanksgiving tables as we gather with family and friends this month.

With thanks and appreciation,


Rabbi Enid C. Lader
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