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Should We Feel Grateful for Having Shoes?

Updated: Aug 3, 2022


Here is the principle.

The recipient’s gratitude should not depend on the effort expended on his behalf. Deriving benefit from someone or something in and of itself requires an expression of gratitude. This appreciation must be shown not only to human beings, but to lower orders of creation as well.

Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz (1902-1979)

The above reminds me of the story of the Kotzker Rebbe, a 19th century Hasidic teacher, who whenever he wore a pair of shoes, he would neatly wrap them in newspaper before throwing them away. He would say, "How can I just throw away such a beautiful pair of shoes that has served me so well?"

That is a form of giving gratitude to shoes.

The same goes for giving gratitude to our pets who keep us company, never criticize us and take us as we are. When do we thank them for their love and loyalty?

How easy it is to criticize people, and how hard it can be to say thank you. While we often do so out of politeness, do we also say a heartfelt thank you for little things we so easily take for granted. To make it a little more personal for once: every week I receive a heartfelt thank you from a rabbi - for actually something I should be grateful and thankful for - and every week I experience as a result how important it is to say "thank you" even for seemingly small trivial things.

And how far our gratitude goes to HaShem. When things go well for us, or we experience something extremely positive it is easy to say "thank you." But do we also say that for "everyday things", things we don't normally think about because they are so "ordinary". That we can hear, that we can feel, that fill in....And how far does our gratitude to Him extend to saying thank you for harder things in our lives, knowing that they are for the better? For difficult, "undesirable" situations and events, can we also say "thank you"?

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



Every Day, Holy Day


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