The Torah therefore prescribed for us a way of life in which we must be constantly focused on the blessings that are part and parcel of everyday living. The “what have you done for me lately” attitude simply doesn’t exist in Torah vocabulary. Any favor rendered, no matter how long ago, must be remembered and acknowledged.
Thousands of years ago G-d brought us forth from Egyptian bondage, and to this day we thank Him – not only on Seder night but every day in our prayers and through the mitzvos we perform. It is not only G-d and our fellow man to whom we must express gratitude; the Torah teaches that we must show appreciation even to objects. Moses was not permitted to strike the Nile when the plagues descended upon Egypt because as an infant he was saved by those waters.
This concept of gratitude is probably the most important lesson a human being can internalize, for once mastered it guarantees happiness and a meaningful, joy-filled life. People run here and there, dabbling in every available therapeutic program, but they fail to understand that happiness is waiting for them right in their own minds and hearts. They need only acquire the attribute of gratitude and learn to thank G-d for the many blessings of life.
(To Be Continued)