What I’m Thankful For

Eight—count ’em, 8!—days of Chanukah, the Jewish holiday dedicated to thanksgiving. Of course, we give thanks all year long, at least three times a day (morning, noon and night), usually more, but Chanukah and on Chanukah, it‘s all about giving thanks.

Being thankful, saying “thank you” and living thankful is not just polite and more than being friendly and considerate. Rebbe Nachman zl teaches that giving thanks is what the World to Come, the utopian future we await, is defined by thanksgiving. Oib azoy (ipso facto) Chanukah is an especially opportune time to expand and deepen our thankfulness.

That means paying attention to what we’re receiving, to review what we’ve had and to think about what happened to make those things happen. It means trying to understand more fully the depth of each gift, and each instance of it (because each instance is really a different gift).

Here’s a shorter-than-brief list of what I’m thankful for. If you or someone you know need to get jump-started, please feel free to use it and share it.

I can tie my shoes by myself
I have shoes
And feet
And hands
With fingers that work

Legs that carry me
and places to go

I can see
(and my glasses!)
Hear
Stand
Walk
Swim
Ride a bike
Drive a car

I can read the Holy Tongue
and English
Speak them
Write them

I’m Jewish
I’ve done a few mitzvahs in my day
I actually chose to avoid doing some nasty things

I’m thankful for what-NOT
Never been in a car accident
Never been a crime victim
Have no degenerative diseases

Lost my father when I was teenager
(took a while to be thankful about this one;
Loved him then and love him now)

Thankful to
know of Rebbe Nachman
and his works

To be Jewish

I’m thankful that I’m thankful

And that I can breathe.

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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