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Appreciation Hakarat Hatov הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב © Behrman House/Babaganewz
Appreciation הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב Every day we acknowledge the many blessings we have been given by God and by those who are working in partnership with God. Being appreciative of what we have is one of the centerpieces of Judaism. Expressing appreciation to others and to God helps us feel greater empathy and cultivates positive feelings and healthy relationships. © Behrman House/Babaganewz
Thanks In Judaism, what avenues do we have to express thanks? What types of things do our families and friends do that deserve hakarat hatov (appreciation) from us? What can we do to show gratitude to these people? What is the difference between expressing gratitude with deeds and with words? What is the difference between expressing gtatitude to people and to God? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
“People should recognize goodness and do kind deeds for someone who has done good things for them.” (Sefer Hahinukh 33) Think of someone who has done good things for you. What has that person done for you? How have you recognized that person’s kindness to you? Why did you choose to recognize it that way? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
“Don’t throw stones into a well from which you drank.” (Bava Kama 92b) What do you think this means? What are examples of “stones” in our lives? What are examples of “wells”? How can you avoid “throwing stones into a well from which you drank”? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
“Give thanks to God for God is good; God’s kindness endures forever.” (Psalms 118:1) In what ways is God kind to us? Is it enough just to thank God to show appreciation for God’s kindness? What other ways do we show appreciation to God? What is our responsibility back to God? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
“We thank You, God our God for bequeathing to us a beautiful, good land, for taking us out of Egyptian slavery, for establishing a covenant with us, for teaching us Your Torah and making us aware of Your statutes, for life, grace, and kindness that You bestow upon us, and for the food that You provide us always, every day, every time, and every hour.” (Second Blessing, Birkat Hamazon) When is this text recited? What causes for gratitude does the text cite? In what order are the causes listed? Why? Are there additional ones that you would include? What are they? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
How do these pictures remind us about hakarat hatov (appreciation)? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
Modeh Ani © Behrman House/Babaganewz
Rise and Shine The prayer “Modeh Ani” thanks God for returning our souls to us each morning. When you wake up in the morning, what are you most thankful for? © Behrman House/Babaganewz
Appreciation In Action Choose a particular person (or event) in your life to whom you would like to show appreciation. Write that person a letter to tell them why you appreciate them. If you have time, decorate your letter, too. If you want to mail the letter, you can. If not, you can keep it in your pocket as a reminder to practice hakarat hatov. © Behrman House/Babaganewz
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