Every Friday morning, as a trustee of the Jewish Assistance Fund, I spend my time trying to help Jews in need take care of their basic living necessities. It is a humbling experience both to receive and give in this unique situation where gratitude abounds.
Jewish gratitude, Hakarat Hatov, is our obligation to recognize the good in each and every thought, action and thing. It’s actually pretty challenging because if you are anything like me, you find it much easier to lean toward criticizing and finding fault. Our work is to let the negative go and acquire a vision of pure goodness.
To help me envision something more positive, I found a teaching from the Mussar Movement established by Rabbi Yisroel Salanter that emphasizes the study and practice of Jewish values and ethics. The goal with this practice is to reach for a level where everything is for the good.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!