We are reading these weeks about the various sacrifices the Jews had to bring in the Temple for diverse purposes. One of the sacrifices was the קרבן תודה, a thanksgiving offering. This was an offering brought when one wanted to thank Hashem for He saved him from a serious difficult situation. Today, since we have no sacrifices, we recite instead the special Berachah which we call ברכת הגומל, the Thanksgiving Blessing.
There is an interesting Midrash that states: לעתיד לבא כל הקרבנות בטלים וקרבן תודה אינה בטלה, “in the future, all sacrifices will be abolished except for the thanksgiving offering”. (Yalkut Shimoni, Emor 643) Of all the sacrifices, why is the thanksgiving sacrifice the only one to survive?
The answer may be obvious. We must ever be thankful to Hashem for the blessings and for the wonderful favors bestowed upon us by Him. We must never assume that we deserve them automatically and do not need to earn them. We are obligated to always show our appreciation.
This acknowledgement of appreciation is also essential between individuals. We may find times when someone has done us a kindness or given us a gift and we forget to show our gratitude. Not only is this discourteous but it is a lack of what we call in Yiddish, מענשליכקייט, or simply good manners.