Every culture has its own language for gratitude.
In Judaism, one way we express gratitude is by saying a prayer first thing in the morning:
מוֹדֶה / מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ מֶֽלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּים. שֶׁהֶֽחֱזַֽרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי ,בְּחֶמְלָה
Modeh/ Modah ani lefanekha melekh chai vekayam shehecḥezarta bi nishmahti b’cḥemlah, translated as: “I give thanks, before you, G!d [and sometimes, spirit of the universe] that you have graciously restored my soul to me.”
Then, we recite a second blessing: “Blessed are you, G!d, source of the universe, for opening my eyes.” The idea is that, as we literally open our eyes, we begin our day with gratitude.
When you open your eyes in the morning, what do you see? Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge our gratitude when we see the same thing day after day without really seeing it.
The natural world—including the little bits of nature right around us, no matter where we live— can help us reconnect with the small but present miracles that surround us every day when we wake up.
To bring a bit of nature into our hearts (and our homes) and open ourselves to these blessings, try one (or all) of the following activity suggestions from Hazon.
We are grateful to Nigel Savage and his team at Hazon, the Jewish Lab for Sustainability,
for being our partner and contributing resources that inspired this activity.