This week I attended a shiur in which the rabbi discussed how he had visited a man who needed to undergo months of rehab after being involved in a car accident.
"You don't know how differently I recite the morning blessings after my accident," he told the rabbi.
The rabbi advised us to recite the morning blessings with gratitude to Hashem, and not wait for an accident (heaven forbid) for us to realize
Rebbetzin Jungries writes about "the beneficial effects of gratitude, of
finding happiness in what G-d has given us and not obsessing about what our
When we arrived in the United States in 1947 my parents rented a small,
dilapidated basement apartment in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. We had
been in our new residence no more than a few weeks when I suddenly fell ill. It
was one of those common childhood diseases but I was running a very high fever
and my parents didn’t know where to find a doctor.
An angel of mercy, one of our neighbors, appeared at our door. She called her
doctor and asked him to make a house call. She took care of the bill and in
every way proved to be a precious, supportive friend. My parents never allowed
me to forget that kindness. Every Erev Shabbos, when my mother baked
delicious challahs and cakes, there would be a package for this neighbor ready
for me to deliver. Years later when I got married, she was seated in a place of
honor at my wedding.
In retrospect one might argue that our neighbor didn’t do anything
remarkable. A family of Holocaust survivors arrives from Europe, broken and
destitute. Their little girl falls ill and they don’t know where to turn. You
have to have a heart of stone not to help. But my father taught us never to take
any act of kindness lightly. Gratitude is one of the pillars on which our faith
if based. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep
at night we are called on to declare praise and thanks to G-d. Our first words
must be a proclamation of appreciation to the Almighty for having returned our
souls and renewing our contract. No aspect of life is to be taken for granted –
a glass of water, a tree in bloom, a rainbow in the sky – all be acknowledged
with a blessing to G-d.
Continue reading: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-key-to-a-meaningful-life/2013/04/10/