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I have taught time and time again that gratitude is the foundation of a religious and spiritual life. We should not be surprised to find the gratitude attitude even in the most unlikely place when we study the Torah. I give you the first of the ten plagues as an example from this week’s Torah portion, Vaera.
God instructed Moses to tell Aaron “Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt-its rivers, his canals, his ponds, all its bodies of water-that they may turn to blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.” (Exodus 7:19) Rashi quoting Shemot Rabbah explains why Moses wasn’t the agent of this plague. “Because the river protected Moses when he was placed into it (as a baby to save his life)-therefore it was not smitten through his hand,-neither at the plague of blood nor the plague of frogs, but it was smitten through the hands of Aaron.” To afflict the Nile would have been an act of great ingratitude on Moses’ part
We learned two important lessons lesson from this plague:
1, One must never harm anything they had once been beneficial to him. In the expression of the Talmud: “Into the cistern from which you drank, do not throw stones” (Bava Kamma 92b) That’s the gratitude attitude in action.
2, When we say thanks to the past, we can say yes to the future. Gratitude gives us the hope and courage to face the future. (Dag Hammarskjöld)
What can you say thank you for looking back upon 2020 so that you can say yes to 2021?
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