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I just recovered from a serious illness, how can I thank G-d?

by Rabbi Eli Wolf

  

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There’s a special blessing which the Sages instituted to give thanks to G-d after surviving a dangerous ordeal. This blessing is called “Hagomel” (See What is the "Hagomel" (thanksgiving) Blessing?).

It is also customary to make a "Seudat Hoda'ah" - meal of thanksgiving - to thank G-d with family and friends.

In general, it is worthy for one to thank G-d all the time, for even the most trivial aspects of life. It is our belief, that the Creator is continuously animating and orchestrating all of His creation, including each nuance in our lives.

Through strengthening the spiritual self with extra Mitzvahs, we can be assured that the physical self will also be strengthened
It is therefore favorable for a person to accustom himself in expressing appreciation for even the small things in life.1 This can be achieved through various ways:

  1. There are many formal prayers from the Siddur which one can recite.
  2. One can express a personal thanks to G-d through creating one’s own prayer.2

It is also appropriate to give additional charity to the poor and to add a lesson in Torah study. Through strengthening the spiritual self with extra Mitzvahs, we can be assured that the physical self will also be strengthened, thus preventing the possibility of any illness befalling us in the future.

Footnotes

  • 1. Many have a custom to recite a special prayer immediately upon waking up in the morning: “Modeh ani l’fanecha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bi nishmati b’chemlah rabah emunatecha” – “I thank you, living and eternal King, for returning my soul within me in compassion, great is your faithfulness”. This prayer reinforces our belief, and sets the tone for the day, that one ought to acknowledge G-d for every minor detail that occurs in one’s life.
  • 2. This can be inserted before the concluding phrase of the 16th blessing (Shma Koleinu – “Hear our voices”) in the Amidah prayer.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Prayer » Laws and Customs

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Siddur
Prayer book.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.