Omer Day 18

Adonai, it’s morning! Hear my voice!

Morning-I am laying it all out before You,

I am scanning the skies!

Inspiration by Tirza Arad

Almost every Shabbat service Rabbi Gabi begins with, what we call, our gratitude circle. We go around the room and say what we are grateful for. Generally the answers acknowledge our gratitude for our partners, love, friendship, health and community. The answer of one (over ninety years old) member stands out in its simplicity and sincerity. “I woke up this morning”, he says with regularity.

Like the psalmist, he says: ”Adonai, its morning! Hear my voice! He is saying: I am thankful every morning to be alive!

In Judaism sleep is viewed as 1/60th of death and we are renewed to life every morning and therefore the first blessing we say is one of gratitude “Modeh or modah ani” – I thank you God for returning my soul to me.

While it is wonderful to feel gratitude for health, love, friendship, community etc., more is asked of us. Traditional Judaism asks us to be more specific, the every day is filled with blessings for the mundane, before and after we eat, wash our hands, encounter a rainbow, bodily functions, studying Torah, eating fruit, smelling trees, hearing thunder etc., etc. When the rabbi in Fiddler on the roof is asked whether there is a blessing for a sewing machine, he answers:”There is a blessing for everything!”

The blessings are there to help us “scan” our everyday for blessings, to help us pay attention to the everyday gifts that make up the tapestry of our lives.

I have a friend on the east coast who is (like many of us) isolated at home with her little dog and every morning she posts on Facebook with great specificity what she is grateful for. Her posts read like a prayer and I look forward to reading all the things she lists every morning.

She showed me what I should have known and acknowledged all along, to be thankful for all the “little “ things that I have and that make up my everyday life, give it meaning and make me look forward to the next day!

Today, take a scan of your life and list in detail the things you are grateful for- the blessings in your life.