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Modei Ani, Giving Thanks Every Morning

If there is one thing we have learned from the daily, ongoing battle of the novel coronavirus, is that every day we are given is a gift. Some of us are perfectly healthy with no symptoms at all, others are feverish and quartantined in a separate room in the house, many are gravely ill and dying, with their families unable to be at their side. This mysterious, non-discriminating virus has made something very clear: Be grateful, everyday, for being alive.

Be grateful for Every. Single. Breath.

It is no small act that we wake up each morning and begin a new day, a miracle that Judaism has always recognized as being most fundamental. And we have a prayer for that. The first words we utter every morning, while still lying in bed, is the Modeh Ani, which means, “I give thanks.”  Our first conscious moments, before we reach for our cell phone or go to the bathroom, are spent thanking God for the gift of life. These words set the tone for the rest of the day, no matter what lies ahead.

God chose to return our soul to our body, and so God must have faith in us. With another day of restored health, God is counting on us to make the best of it.

In Hebrew, we say:

Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam,

she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla, raba emunatecha.

Translated: I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.

Click HERE for a video of St. Louis’ very own Rick Recht singing Modei Ani in Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom, and may the rest of your Passover be peaceful, meaningful, and filled with gratitude for another day.