Dvar Torah on Parshat Yitro 5774 2014 – Being Grateful

After Moshe relates to Yitro all the happenings and all the miracles that Hashem had performed for the Jewish people, Yitro’s reaction was to say: בָּרוּךְ יְקֹוָק אֲשֶׁר הִצִּיל אֶתְכֶם מִיַּד מִצְרַיִם, “…Blessed is Hashem, Who has rescued you from the hand of Egypt…”. (Ex. 18,10)

Chazal make a very strange observation regarding this statement of Yitro. They say: “It was a disgrace for Moshe and the six hundred thousand (the Israelites who left Egypt) that they did not bless (Hashem) until Yitro came and did so.” (Sanh. 94a)

This is strange, for after the miraculous crossing of the sea they offered a beautiful song of thanks to Hashem for all He did in saving them from the Egyptians. Was this great song of lesser significance than the few words uttered by Yitro? What then did Chazal mean?

The answer may be that the Jews had offered their thanks and appreciation to Hashem for all the favors he bestowed on them. Thanking Him for the blessings He showers on others, this is what Yitro demonstrated. Yitro thanked Hashem, not for what he had been granted, but for what Hashem did to others. This was the great lesson that he taught.

We should be grateful, not only for our blessings, but also for blessings that other people receive.

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