Vayishlach – Jewish Practices of Gratitude

When people think of Judaism and Jews, I don’t think that ‘a culture of gratitude’ is the first thing that pops into our heads.

  • We remember that our people k’vetched constantly after leaving Egypt.
  • We know that Jonah wanted to die when God forgave Nineveh. 
  • Moses himself said, “these people are just too much for me to handle.”
  • The prophets railed about, well, everything.
  • And Yom Kippur feels more about beating ourselves up than giving thanks.

And I’ll admit, that I have always been a bit suspicious of people are overly grateful. It’s a bit too Candide for me, a bit “it’s the best of all possible worlds and it couldn’t possibly be any better.”