I decided to take a break from the Parsha posts, and am stopping with Parshas Tzav, and will continue the rest next year. First I would like to bring up Parshas Tzav again, I had talked about the topic of Hoda’ah- Thanks, now I’d like to talk about it some more.
In the times of the Beis HaMikdash, the seudas hoda'ah consisted of the Korbon Todah. Nowadays, we have no Korbon Todah; however, we still make a seudas hoda'ah when we experience a miracle of Hashem's chessed. During that seudah, we speak about the miracle; how The Almighty saved us from a dangerous situation. This implants within us the middah (character trait) of hakoras hatov (gratitude), and recognition of all the good things that Hashem does for us. You do not need to wait until a big miracle happens to express hakoras hatov to Hashem. You can thank Him every day for the constant miracles of keeping you alive, healthy, providing food, clothing, family, teachers, and hundreds of other chassodim. Thank Him always. "Thank You Hashem!"
I remember in elementary school when we were taught Borei Nefashos, the teacher taught it to us in a song that went like this: “Barach Ata Hashem…..Borei Nefashos…..Chai Haolamim, Thank You Hashem for the Delicious food”. Now every time I say Borei Nefashos I always add on the Thank you part, it comes so naturally, that I forget it’s not part of the Bracha. But since it’s in English, it’s the part I understand, so as I’m saying it, the words remind me of what the Bracha is about.
I’m not really sure how much I can blog about this topic, as it might be too personal. But suffice it to say this Shabbos I’m having my 8th Seudas Hoda’ah for that unlucky Wednesday in 2001. I never really think about it much, I remember it comes out April time, Rosh Chodesh Iyar. It’s the one time a year when I actually eat Shalosh Seudos. We used to donate some sefer to the shul at this time. I usually acknowledge the time of year but never really feel the Thankfulness of it.
But then this year I was thinking about it, and I realized I have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes I feel as though my life is too easy, that it becomes hard for me to do the right thing all the time. I sometimes wish bad things would happen to me, so that I wouldn’t be so “spoiled” and would become a better person. I hear about people suffering and it makes me feel inadequate, as though how can I be living the way I am, when they are suffering so.
Then this time of year comes, as a reminder, that my life wasn’t so smooth, I did have my bumps. I realize I have the opportunity to be thankful for it, so that I had my hardship early on and was able to learn and change from it.
Hashem has done a miracle for me and saved my life, when I think of that it gives me an incentive and motivation to make myself a better person. I wish I can constantly remember this, but I realize it takes more than this gratitude towards Hashem, to make myself constantly a better person. It takes an extra level of love and dedication to Hashem and His mitzvos, to make me constantly aware of my reason for being here and to act upon it.
I find that a very hard task, it’s hard to imagine this great Hashem when He’s not a physical being that we can see, but rather all spiritual. One of my High School teachers used to tell us that we have to think to ourselves every day “Hashem loves me”. It became ingrained in me, that when good things Happen, no matter how little, it’s from Hashem. So if I was typing out a comment and lost my connection, refreshed and found my comment was still there, I would say “Hashem loves me”. It feels good to realize it’s from Hashem.
The next step is to love Hashem back, I made my picture to say “I love Hashem” as a reminder to myself to work on the Midah of Ahavas Hashem, which is the best possible way of doing the Mitzvos.