Gratitude -Who is it for?

March 15, 2018
by Alan Contino

The first two plagues, “blood” and “frogs” were started when Aaron hit the Nile River with his stick.

If Moses is the main player to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt why doesn’t he start the first two plagues himself? Rashi (a 12th century commentator) explains it would show a lack of gratitude on Moses’s part if he were to hit the water. When Moses was a baby and his parents put him in the river, the river did not engulf his basket, instead the basket survived until Pharaoh’s daughter came and took Moses out of the water. Therefore, Moses shows his gratitude to the river and the plague doesn’t start through him.

The question is: water is not a person, it has no feelings; what possible gratitude can there be toward an inanimate object?

When it comes to gratitude, I have to recognize a favor was done to me, and recognize what I received. However, besides the fact that “I owe you one,” when you do a favor for me, what kind of person would I be if I showed a lack of gratitude? I have to show gratitude because I need to understand the world doesn’t revolve around me. I get through life because of others. Moses has to show gratitude to the river, not for the river’s sake but for his own sake. Something to keep in mind when a favor is done for us.

Think about it!

About the Author

Rabbi Tzvi Jacobson, Host of Let’s Talk Torah on the NRM Streamcast Community Channel

I am the Director of Development and the 3rd Grade Judaic studies teacher for Yeshivas Darchei Torah located in Southfield, Michigan. In these roles, I am able to pursue both my passions; teaching children and meeting people from all walks of life who share an interest in the education of children. I love to be challenged; whether in the classroom helping a child with learning or behavior difficulties, or helping Yeshivas Darchei Torah meet its financial obligation.

As a teacher, I like to keep my students guessing what’s next. Whether it’s puppet shows, stories, trips or programs, my classroom is always warm and exciting. I enjoy studying Torah, and I love to share.