Gratitude--Hakarat Hatov


The Hebrew term for gratitude is hakarat hatov, which means, literally, "recognizing the good." (1)

I basically fell head over heals in love with the baby I was carrying, my husband for his role and his excitement, my children for their hopes and dreams for our family, and Hashem for giving me this opportunity to have another child. I started having children late. My first was at 33 years old. If you ask my family, though, they will tell you that I always thought I would have at least 6 children. Both pregnancies that resulted in children were hard pregancies. Months upon months of throwing up, feeling sick, gestational diabetes, dizziness, asthma-like symptoms. Still, the opportunity, unexpected, to have yet another child was such a blessing and a gift, that I allowed myself to fully plunge into that realm of bliss.

Of course, smashing into the concrete wall was no fun. It wasn't supposed to happen that way. I was supposed to continue on in bliss (between the sickness and queasiness). However, that was not what was in the plan.

This is where my Gratitude enters. It entered though the community. This wonderful community to which I belong. It came through my rabbi, my teachers, my friends. It came from the Chasidic, the Orthodox, the Traditional, the Conservative, the Reform, the secular, and even outside the community altogether. If ever I wondered where I fit, how I fit, if I fit, it all melted away with the love, concern, kindness, prayers, support and empathy. Never have I felt so supported in my life. The emails, blog responses, Facebook comments, food, books, articles, phone calls, visits...even though it took me quite a while to write back, take a call, appear in public...the gestures from everyone have helped me heal this broken heart.

I am grateful for you, my Jewish community. The oneness of us. Your actions toward me, a nobody, show just how much this Jewish community is a light. A light that brightened my dark little corner.

Thank you is such an inadequate term. How can I express my gratitude to you? How can I show you my soul so that you can see what a difference you have made?