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Parashat Vayigash

December 30, 2022
6 Tevet 5783
Genesis 41:18 - 47:27

Dear Friends,

We recently had a conversation with our children in our school discussing the Modeh Ani prayer, which is recited each morning. It is a prayer of gratitude, to be recited each morning. 

Y a w n n n n n n n
Hey, I'm awake!

מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקיים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה. רבה אמונתך
I thank you, living and enduring king, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is your faithfulness.
(from the Chabad website)

Our children understood and were able to reflect upon what it takes to get going in the morning and to be grateful for what they had.

If we translate the prayer directly from the Hebrew the first word is “Thank” and not "I." "Thank" is clearly about gratitude. Our lives are gifts -- gifts we often take for granted when we are young. If we are able to begin a new day with gratitude, which isn’t always an easy thing to do, our inner engine is operational.

We live in a world where there are holidays both secular and Jewish that put an emphasis on reflection, gratitude, and a desire to do better in the future. As we enter 2023, let’s forgo the practice of making resolutions that we never quite fulfil and instead take a moment and reflect upon that which brings a smile to our faces and a sense of joy in our hearts.

There is much that is broken in our world and much that needs to be repaired, but Shabbat is on its way. Shabbat is a weekly reminder (in case we don’t do it on a daily basis) to stop, open our eyes, and see that which is good in our world and in our lives. It is opportunity to be in the moment. 

Wishing you all a very sweet Shabbat, as I am grateful to all of you for your presence in my life.

Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784