Yesterday, I received some very good news.
My favourite website- namely Chabad.org- are interested in publishing my article ‘The Gift of Life’. BS”D, it should be appearing on the ‘Readers Write’ section of their website very soon. As I read the email telling me my article had been accepted, I felt, among other things, elated and shocked. But the emotion which rose to the surface was one of pure gratitude.
The article I had written was about gratitude, and Judaism’s unique approach towards thanksgiving. And when I realised that my initial reaction was one of thankfulness- of praising G-d- I felt proud. To be honest, it doesn’t come easily to me. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it’s also important to recognise it. Often, I get too caught up in worries and dilemmas to appreciate G-d’s gifts.
Writing that article was an attempt to remedy that, and my reaction to the email proved that I’d made progress.
As I thought about this success and how blessed it made me feel, I remembered what I had written about this week’s Parsha, Acharei-Kedoshim. I had discussed Hillel’s comment that love for your fellow was the whole of the Torah, and the rest was just commentary. And I realised that just as love for one’s fellow lies at the heart of the Torah, gratitude lies at the very heart of the Jewish religion and way of life. Ahavos Yisroel is to the Torah what thankfulness is to Judaism.
After I made this connection, I found things to be thankful for everywhere. I realised that thanking G-d infused my life with a sense of love and awe I wouldn’t have otherwise found. One of the things I am most thankful for is Shabbes. After a busy week, it’s a true blessing to have a day of rest, and this week, my goal is to take the thankfulness I’ve been trying to express into the day of rest and rejoice in it.
In London, Shabbes candles should be lit at 8:12 PM, and Shabbes ends at 9:32 PM tomorrow. When lighting your Shabbes candles, please keep in mind Chaim Elozor ben Baila, Moshe ben Hadasa, Moshe ben Genya, and Chashachana bas Bryna for a refuah shleimah. Thank you, and gut Shabbes!