A national holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia, Germany, and Japan.
However, when you are a Jew, every day is Thanksgiving.
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ מֶֽלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּים. שֶׁהֶֽחֱזַֽרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי ,בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמֽוּנָתֶֽךָ
Modeh ani lefanecha melech cḥai vekayam sheheḥezarta bi nishmati b’cḥemlah, rabah emunatecha.
I give thanks before you, King living and eternal, for You have returned within me my soul with compassion; abundant is Your faithfulness!
In the English translation, it begins with “I”, but if you look at Hebrew, the first word is “Modah”, thanks.
Yes, we begin each and every day with the word “thanks”– thank you, G-d, I am alive! Life means anything is possible, and You have faith that I will use the day that You have given me with joy and purpose.
Author Melody Beattie said, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
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Raising a mensch means teaching our kids what Judaism says about being a good person. Jewish wisdom teaches: praising a child’s ethics, morals, and ideals is more important than praising their academic marks. If our children’s honesty, inclusiveness, and kindness garners the same praise as an A on their report card, our children will develop healthy self-esteem that isn’t tied to their intellect or academic achievements.