A young boy was playing on the beach when he was suddenly swept away in a violent tidal wave.
“Dear G-d, please save my child!” cried his frightened mother.
Lo and behold, another wave rolled in, bringing the young boy back to shore.
“Oh! What a wonder!” exclaimed the mother in relief – and then, looking somewhat perturbed – called out, “but G-d, what about his expensive hat?!”
Have you ever thought about why the Modeh Ani prayer is the very first thing we say in the morning? Or why the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents is included in the Ten Commandments – the very foundation of Judaism?
Indeed, gratitude is an essential Jewish concept: we thank Hashem, we thank our parents, and in turn, every individual who contributes to our lives.
While our inner ego may argue that saying “thank you” suggests submission, in truth, it is the simple recognition of a reality: that every success requires teamwork.
When we offer thanks, we show our appreciation for the role that others have played, humbly recognizing that we have not achieved success independently. Come to think of it, saying thank G-d is a reality check. After all, it’s all happening because of him