Shabbat Chukat - Balak
Candle Lighting time 8:12 PM
Why do we often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude the most? We do this with both people and possessions. The problem is many people do not realize this until the situation has come and passed. We take things for granted on a daily basis, always with the assumption that whenever we need something, it will be there. Unfortunately this assumption is not true.
In the first half of this week’s double portion, Hukkat/Balak Miriam, Moses’s sister passes away (Numbers 20:1). Immediately following in the next verses we learn that “the community was without water, and they joined against Moses and Aaron.” (vs 2). The rabbi’s wonder what the connection was between verse one and verse two. Miriam was always associated with water. She watched over baby Moses as he floated down the Nile. Leading the women, she celebrated with song and dance the crossing of the Sea of Reeds. According to the Midrash a magical well of water traveled with the Israelites through their journeys in the wilderness thanks to Miriam’s merit. When she died the well disappeared. It was only then that the Israelites complained about the lack of water. They probably took Miriam for granted until she was gone because then they realized what she had provided them.
I see on the TV news and read in the newspapers so many people grumbling because of the quarantine and closure Covid 19 has caused. They can’t get haircuts. They can’t go to the gym and work out. They shouldn’t go out without a mask. They just miss all the things they took for granted just a few months ago. Just like our ancestors when the well disappeared, they are loudly complaining. You never realize the value of something until it's gone. That is why you should always appreciate the little things in life.
Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had. Appreciate all the things you still have in life because you never know when that time will end. You can’t appreciate everything in life, but you can always find something to appreciate each day. A sunny day. A beautiful flower. A telephone call from a friend. If we stop complaining just for a moment and appreciate something, your whole attitude will change. You will thank God for you have. That’s what I call a gratitude attitude.
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