How To Let Go of Your Gratitude Amnesia

In this week’s parsha, Parshat Bo, we find Pharoah hardening his heart after having already experienced seven of the ten plagues.

Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair speaks about this and describes Pharoah from suffering from terminal ‘gratitude amnesia.’

He explains that Pharoah enslaved the Jewish people, conveniently forgetting that Yosef, the Jew, saved Egypt and made it the most powerful empire.

As a result, Hashem hardened his heart and took away his power of freedom of choice.

Rabbi Sinclair continues with the fact that none of us are immune to this ‘gratitude amnesia.’ We so easily forget what we are given and where they all stem from.

Just as quickly as we received is as quickly as we forget.

As a part of this Worldwide gratitude challenge, we are working to counteract the gratitude amnesia. We are refocusing our thoughts and remembering all that Hashem does for us and provides for us.

Each day that passes we reflect on all the gifts and goodness we have received and thank Hashem for them. Enabling us to become grateful beings.

Hashem, in His infinite kindness, gives unconditionally and by journeying with us on this challenge we begin to gain a glimpse into all the kindness that encircles us.

We also find that by writing down our gratitude list we have just provided ourselves with a tool to combat the yetzer hara (evil inclination).

The yetzer hara has a powerful method of fooling us into thinking that Hashem isn’t always near or isn’t always orchestrating events and behind it all.

When we write it down and fill a notebook, we now have proof to show the yetzer hara that all he tells us is false. We can now refer back and gain strength when the yetzer hara begins to overcome.

Slowly as the challenge continues, this will become a great source of strength and appreciation for all that we have and all that Hashem gives us.

“It is not the world that needs to change, rather it is the eyes in which we look at the world, that need to be adjusted.”

 -Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Rebbe Nachman teaches us that the core of Emunah is to thank Hashem for the most overlooked, small and mundane things.

Most of the time we forget or are not even aware of those things. Through this 40-day challenge, we being to see that those little things are actually huge since they are all a gift from Hashem.

Sometimes we can find ourselves feeling stuck, without something new to thank Hashem for today.

And although we know that there are so many gifts surrounding us, we are just so overwhelmed and therefore, unable to see any.

Rav Ofer Erez offers us a great piece of advice on how to gain our focus back and beat the stress of the yetzer hara (evil inclination) on thanking Hashem.

He advises to take 3-5 easy things and look closely at each and every single one of them. Examine them, delve into them, scrutinize them, and find our gratitude in them from every angle and every aspect.

With this, we can develop a new outlook and way of appreciation for all which we have in life, as we begin to view life through a fresh new lens and escape from gratitude amnesia.

Have a wonderful uplifting Shabbat!


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