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  • Chloe Mastour

Happy Thanksgiving, North Shore!

At this time of year, we cannot help but think about the middah of Hakarat Hatov. We begin every day with Modeh Ani and Birchot Hashachar in which we thank G-d for life itself.

We see this middah throughout Tanach as well. When the Shevatim were given their names, Yehudah was given his name as a sign of gratitude to G-d for giving Yaakov and Leah this child. The Jewish people are also called Yehudim, as our essence is Hakarat Hatov.

One of the sources in Tanach where this middah is epitomized is in relation to the ten plagues. Moshe was not permitted to perform the first three makkot, which required hitting the water and the land of Egypt. Rashi explains that since the land had protected the secret that Moshe killed an Egyptian, and the water had protected him after he was born, it would be ungrateful for Moshe to hit them. G-d wanted to teach Moshe and the entire Bnei Yisrael the importance of gratitude.

It is interesting to note that from the time Moshe had floated in the Nile until the time of the first plague, roughly 80 years had passed! Nevertheless, G-d insisted that Moshe recognize the good that the water and land had done for him so many decades ago. This teaches us the importance of showing gratitude, even many years later. Especially as Jews, we are privileged to live in a country that endows us with freedoms and opportunities, which we cannot take for granted. This is not only an important lesson to recall on Thanksgiving, but all year long.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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