Feeling Grateful

Tzav: A resource for parents.

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Reprinted with permission from Torah Topics for Today.

Most of us are good at seeing flaws around us or within us. However, we may have difficulty realizing how much in our lives actually works well. Acknowledging this fact is at the heart of feeling gratitude. Gratitude is central to affirming all that we have and all that others do for us; in fact, it is central to a feeling of well-being. When feeling grateful, we are conscious of the manifold blessings in our lives.
feeling grateful 
In this week's Torah portion the Israelites express their thanksgiving by bringing an offering to the Temple of an animal or a vegetarian option of grain. Something concrete is offered to show one's gratitude. Gratitude, in the Torah, is an integral part of one's spiritual life.   
 
We too can nurture this feeling in ourselves and our children. Try stopping for a few moments each day and thinking of all the things you have for which to be grateful. When we do so, we become conscious of how much we really have in our lives and feel enriched. It is also a good habit to encourage in our children. It's important not only to encourage them to say thank you by rote, but to help them become aware of what they have in their lives. In this way they can form a life-long habit of feeling and being grateful for the many blessings they have.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about all the blessings they have in their lives.  

CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:    

·  What are things for which you feel grateful?
·  What are some ways to show gratitude? 
·  How can we learn to appreciate ourselves and those around us more?

© Copyright 2009 Joyce and Fred Claar 

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne Cohler-Esses is the first Syrian Jewish woman to be ordained as a rabbi. She was ordained in 1995 at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently a freelance educator and writer, teaching and writing about a wide range of Jewish subjects. She lives in New York City with her journalist husband and their three children.