Years ago, at one of my son’s bar mitzvahs I had a shalosh seudos for the women in my life to thank them and to thank Hashem publicly.
I remember thanking Him for making that particular son (who had the loudest voice ever) cry 24/7 because it taught me patience and forced me to go to parenting classes (if only to get away from the crying;)and I wouldn’t be who I am today without that.
There are dark moments and bright moments in our days, weeks, months, years. Within the darkest space there is always a spark of Kedusha- a beckoning of Hashem trying to pull us near.
Sometimes it is so painful that we feel shattered and alone. As Rabbi Nivin teaches in his zmanim segment, “the planted seed rots before it sprouts”.
Hashem has given us advice in the Torah for what to do, day in and day out whether rotting or sprouting, as He is the arbitrar of both.
“1) In Deuteronomy 10:12, Moshe tells the Jewish people: "What (mah) does G-d ask of you?” The Talmud1 explains that the word mah can be read as me’ah, meaning 100. In other words, Hashem asks us to recite (at least) 100 brachot every day.2” (Rabbi Simmons jewishpathways.com)
Moshe Rabbeinu is teaching us that Hashem wants us to communicate with Him. Thanking Him is what gives us a relationship with Him.
“2) In the time of Kind David, 100 people died every day due to a terrible plague. Realizing that the plague had a spiritual cause, King David and the Sages instituted a “measure for measure” response: the saying of 100 blessings each day. Once implemented, the plague stopped.”3 (ibid)
Here is direct proof of the power in our words. Hashem is giving us the tools to change this physical world and the linked spiritual ones, as a result.
These two sources teach us that thanking Hashem 100 times a day brings us to deveikus and elevates the gashmius to the ruchnius. In other words, reveals the kedusha that is hidden (sometimes very deep) within externalities.
As a group we are creating ripples of movements in all the worlds that will IyH bring the geulah closer. How can it not when Hashem has given us the key?!
Furthermore, we have entered the month of Shevat. Shevat is a month for elevating our eating. (Bilvavi.net) One powerful way to achieve this is through our brachos -before and after we eat.
As for me, these 40 days (Jewish Women Unite gratitude movement) I am trying to be more present as I make a bracha, daven, or even while doing simple activities to fulfill “100 gratitudes/ blessings a day”. When I remember to do this, the resulting feeling is emunah; sensing Hashem even more in my life.
If we seek Him we will find Him in everything.
1 Menachot 43b
2 Orach Chaim 46:3
3 Midash Rabba – Numbers 18:17; Tur 46, quoting Rav Netrunoi Gaon