May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I’d like to share with you a beautiful e-mail I received from my daughter while she was on her graduation trip to Washington, DC. (It stands for “De Capital,” in case you didn’t know.)

Dear Daddy,

I am having an amazing time on this trip. We’ve been to the Capitol, the White House, and the Washington Monument. We’ve visited the Smithsonian, the FBI museum, and the Holocaust museum. At Arlington cemetery, we saw JFK’s grave as well as some Jewish soldiers’ graves. Oh, we went for a boat ride on the Potomac River and had a blast!

I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for making this trip possible. I know it wasn’t cheap and you made sure I had extra food and cash for “just in case” occasions. I really appreciate you doing this for me.

You are the best father in the entire universe. I love you!

I’d like to share that e-mail with you, but I can’t—because she never wrote it.

I’m not upset that she didn’t. I don’t begrudge her that because she’s young, excited about being with her friends on a new adventure and she was busy doing whatever her class was doing. I did get a few text messages from her. One or two were pictures of where they went but mostly the messages were about something she needed or that someone had said something mean to her.

She didn’t come to me to share her joy, just her frustrations and wants. But that’s OK. I’m her father and that’s what I’m here for. Sure, I would have liked to be part of the moment, with her telling me about her day, and it would have been nice to hear that praise. However, it seemed that the only time she felt the need to communicate with me was when she needed something. And that’s when a lightbulb went on in my head and I realized that I’m the same way.

I often say that HaShem is called our father so that when we have experiences as parents, we can relate to Him better. Now, I as a father was having this experience, and it made me think of it from HaShem’s perspective.

He sends each of us on a trip to visit Earth. He signs the waivers, prepares our bags, drops us off and slips us a little extra from time to time to help keep us happy and comfortable. He worries about us and if anything will happen to us along the way. He wants us to have a good time and enjoy ourselves.

As we set off on this expedition with HaShem as our corporate sponsor, we begin our exploration and we know quite well to whom we owe it all. We know that if not for HaShem nothing would be possible. But we get so wrapped up in the excitement of life that we may forget to radio back to base and write home to Papa.

Then things don’t go as smoothly as we’d like. Things take an unexpected turn, or we’re just unsure of what to do, so we pray.

We say, “HaShem, I need this.” We say, “Please help me with this difficulty,” and we might mention, “So-and-so was bothering me.” Like a child, we’re so focused on getting through our trip and doing all there is to do that we get busy and don’t focus on saying thank you as much as we should.

When something good happens, we don’t always jump to say, “Wow, God, You were so amazing to do that for me.” We’re not sending those letters home as often as we might, nor are we sharing the joy of our lives with HaShem “simply because we know He wants to hear it.”

We need to get in the habit of saying, “Baruch HaShem!” when things go well, and actually articulating our appreciation. “Thank you HaShem for being able to walk, talk, breathe, see, hear etc. etc.” “Baruch HaShem, that was a close call but You saved me.” If it was your child you’d want it, so why should HaShem, our Father in Heaven, desire anything less?

When you give a gift you like to hear the person enjoyed it. When you teach someone you enjoy knowing that it meant something to him. We are givers yet we like to receive feedback. That’s because it lets us know our gift is appreciated.

HaShem is the ultimate giver and it’s safe to assume that He would enjoy positive feedback. Yes He “knows” that we are enjoying, but He wants us to realize how much we should appreciate it and write those thank you notes home. He wants to hear us say, “Thank you, I love you Daddy.” So, as you live your life, don’t forget to write often and let Him know how you feel.

After all, He is the greatest Father in the Universe.

Jonathan Gewirtz is an inspirational writer and speaker whose work has appeared in publications around the world. You can find him at www.facebook.com/RabbiGewirtz and follow him on Twitter @RabbiJGewirtz.

By Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz

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