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Nisan 19

They praise God for His kindness and relate His wonders to other people (Psalms 107:8).

This verse is repeated four times in this chapter, emphasizing the obligation people have to express their gratitude to God for His kindnesses.

Human beings have the capacity for complaining about their distress as well as being thankful for benevolence. Unfortunately, in many people these traits are not balanced, and the capacity to complain may outweigh that of being grateful.

There is a story about a mother who was walking along the seashore with her son. Unexpectedly, a huge wave descended upon them and carried the child out to sea. The distraught mother began begging to God: "Please, God, save my child! Give me back my little son!" Shortly afterwards, another huge wave deposited the child, unharmed, right at her feet.

The mother embraced the child, and turning her eyes toward heaven, exclaimed, "Thank You, God. Thank You, thank You forever." A moment later, she looked at her child, then turned her eyes to heaven once again and asked: "Where is the hat he was wearing?"

Many humorous stories have a kernel of truth. How often do we forget kindnesses and focus instead on annoyances, even when the disparity between them is in the magnitude of the saving of a child versus the loss of a hat.

Today I shall...

try to bear in mind the many great kindnesses that God has done for me, and ignore the relatively insignificant displeasures in my life.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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