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          TORAH GEM TO SHARE - YOM KIPPUR / HAAZINU 

  

This Tuesday evening, Sept 18 is Yom Kippur. YIZKOR will be recited on Wednesday. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a New Year of health, happiness, prosperity and peace. 

 
"Haazinu Hashamyim..."listen, O heavens says Moshe, for as the Midrash explains - he was close enough spiritually to tell them to listen! 

 
Each of us is given a spark of holiness that enables us to attain, to some degree the greatness of Moshe Rabeinu. It is up to us to appreciate that gift and always express our gratitude to Hashem. 
 
Hakorat Hatov - Gratitude - is, perhaps THE defining trait of our people. The Baal Hatanya teaches that appreciating the hidden good and rejoicing is the entire purpose of creation! 
 
Even the name "Yehudi" implies thankfulness. 
 
The first words we say upon awakening each morning, before washing our hands or having that first cup of coffee, are "Modeh Ani" thank you Hashem for giving me this day; thank you and I need you. Throughout the day we are constantly reciting blessings over our food, clothes, our health - there's even one for after leaving the bathroom! Obviously, Hashem doesn't need our THANK YOU before and after each meal. Perhaps, when we acknowledge the many gifts Hashem gives us each day, we show that we truly appreciate Him and want His gifts to continue. 
 
The consequences of the Kofer Tov – one who denies the good done for him, are serious. The Rasha at the Seder table, for example, asks "what is this work to you?" We were saved from Pharaoh with spectacular miracles and he wants to know why we are bothering with a seder! His lack of gratitude is what makes him a Rasha. Although we preserve his dignity by rebuking him in the third person, the message to the Rasha is clear. Had he been there, he would not have been redeemed. No gratitude...no redemption. 

 
Gratitude toward one's parents, for example, is not based upon how good they are to us, rather that we owe them our very existence. 
 
Similarly, when you derive any benefit from another individual, you owe them Hakorat Hatov. Hashem's kindness is our greatest gift. 
 
Indeed, when we think about it, there is no limit to the gratitude we owe Hashem. If we spent every waking moment saying thank you for our health, our families, our friends, our livelihood and for a second chance, it would hardly be sufficient. There is just not enough time in our day. 
 
Yom Kippur provides yet another reason to be grateful, for on this day, after making amends with our fellow man, Hashem, in his kindness wipes clean our slate and renews our lives for the coming year. 
 
May it be one of Health, Peace and Appreciation of all our Blessings. 
 
G'mar Chatima Tova! Shabbat Shalom, CM 

 

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Our sages teach that one who eats well on the day before Yom Kippur, is credited for fasting on both days. Is this something to be grateful for?



 
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