Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The 18th Berakha: MODIM ANACHNU LAKH

Today is the 20 of Iyar, 5771/ 35 days of Omer (5 weeks)

The eighteenth berakha, Modim, is the longest one of the Amida. This blessing is at the center of the section called: hoda-a or gratitude.

It consists of a list of facts, for which we acknowledge God as the real or ultimate source of what we are, we have, and all the good things that happen to us. We express as Jews, that we feel privileged --and perhaps unworthy-- to be the recipients of so many blessings.

The list is long, but, of course, does not pretend to be exhaustive. The Rabbis realizing that we could only enumerate 'some' of the favors we want to thank God for, composed what is known as Modim deRabanan, a supplementary prayer of gratitude, that the public recite in the repetition of the Amida.

We feel (or we need to train ourselves to feel) a sense of endless gratitude toward God. Imagine you want to thank your parents for "all they have done for you". Except, perhaps, in your Bar Mitzvah speech... you would not say just: "Thanks for all, Mom and Dad". If you really mean to thank your parents, you will have to elaborate a very long list of deeds, favors, actions for which you feel you owe gratitude to your parents. You would probably begin by thanking them for giving you your life.

Similarly, we begin by thanking haShem for being our God. In other words, for having chosen us among the nations. The second aspect we feel so grateful about is that haShem was, is and will be the Protector (Rock) of our lives, our eternal shield (magen) and savior.

"We are thankful to You, that You HaShem are our God,

and the God of our fathers. (You are our God) for ever.

You are the Rock of our lives, and our Protector and Savior.

You are!"

(to be continued...)

Mastering the gratitude attitude