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Archive for May, 2015


Have you heard the news? I woke up this morning! Oh, you too? I imagine you’re calling me daft or a Polyanna right about now. Can you even imagine David Letterman’s retort: “so congrats, you have awakened to a world and a life full of troubles”.  I saw a news clip about Letterman Monday night: apparently it’s nine years since he survived a quintuple bi-pass. To mark the anniversary, he brought his wife and absolutely beautiful 5 year old son to the studio. “I think my life was spared so I could be a part of this little guy’s life,” he said of his son. Wow, from the king of sarcasm himself. It’s true that when we survive something like that we are more intensely aware and grateful for life’s small gifts. That’s the essence of the Modeh ani prayer, the one we say upon waking. Yes, life’s sweeter from attitude of gratitude as you open your eyes and reach for that cup of tea, and your child’s hand. Our tradition understands the fragility of life, each day an unlikely gift. But this prayer has a surprise ending: that our life’s been spared, gifted to us today because God believes in me and you and in the tasks we’ve awakened to do. To be a part of a child’s life, to smile and to help and to love. God believes in us with a great faith – Raba emunatecha – the proof is that, as unlikely as it seems, you’ve awakened. What if you awoke each morning to this mantra of gratitude, how it could transform!
Adapted from Todd Herzog’s Tov L’hodot
Alarm clock in the morning gets me out of bed
As I wake to face another hectic day
no time for hesitation, too much work ahead
but in the midst of all the chaos & the strife
I must learn to count the blessings in my life
Modah ani, I won’t take these gifts for granted
Modah ani, now I see the world anew
Modah ani, friends and family bring laughter to my soul
and my life would have no meaning without You

Sunset on the mountain, a simple melody
The freedom that I have to make my way
A newfound inspiration, a different way to see
now Your kindness warms me in the morning light
and I am shielded from the darkness of the night
The world around me opens up and lets me in
like a mystery I finally understand
So I raise up my voice and sing out to the skies
when I realize how fortunate I am!


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