In our "I- Generation" where people are increasingly more self complacent, and feel unsure as to what the future brings, the message of gratitude and thanksgiving is even more pertinent.
Research has found that individuals who keep a gratitude journal in which they write the things they are grateful for, are happier and live a more content live. Taking as little as five minutes a day and showing gratitude has such a powerful effect on our psyches.
In Judaism, the first words which are uttered each morning are "mode ani l'fanacha.." translated as "I am grateful to you, the living Master of the universe who has returned my soul to me with great mercy in your belief in me".
These words are said prior to ritually cleansing one's hands and Kabbalah says invokes a transcendent level of G-d, one which bypasses a name.
We begin our day by showing gratitude, thereby orienting the entire day to be in the spirit of thanksgiving.
The word Mode- thank you, comes from the root word Hod, which is actually the 5th of the emotion Sefirot. Hod means to acknowledge. Acknowledge is an interesting word. On the one hand it has the word knowledge, yet is not knowledge because of the prefix.
So what does acknowledging mean?
Beyond politeness or political correctness, real gratitude is rooted in acknowledgment. We live in a generation where there is external politeness and pc, but the deeper rooted politeness is not superficial.
When someone holds the door open for us, we are grateful because they have acknowledged our existence. In turn, we acknowledge the kindness of this person by saying "Toda- thank you".
Kabbalah explains that the Sefirah of Hod is the last of the Sefirot which is "part of the body". In short, this means that the Sefirot evolve from an intellectual source into the emotions and then into action. Much like a human utilizes their intellect to draw down a concept into action. Therefor Kabbalah makes the comparison of the Sefirot in their spiritual source to the human being. Hod is the Sefirah which receives the conceptual process and is determined to go beyond knowledge, but to acknowledge.
As great as intellect is in conceiving new ideas, it is acknowledgment which embodies what we know to what we truly experience internally. By truly acknowledging the presence and kindness of others, we become show the sincere level of gratitude. More so, when we show acknowledgment and gratitude to G-d for all the "small miracles" we realize that we are blessed in so many ways.
Let's bring this spirit of thanksgiving into the whole year and acknowledge the miracle of life.
To learn more about the Sefirah of Hod and the other Sefirot check out our Ten Sefirot Course. Learn more about the Sefirot on this foundational journey, which will give you the building blocks of understanding the universe and your true essence. Click here to learn more
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