Last week, I was spurred to write twice for this blog, after a bit of a hiatus when my daughter was born. What was it that gave me the push?
My wife had been in the center of town, and a woman in the neighborhood expressed appreciation for my blog, saying that it was good to find others who are excited about Moshiach.
It’s this kind of encouragement that gives one impetus to keep going, to keep inspiring, to keep giving.
Later, I reflected on this, and realized that we are programmed this way – to respond to gratitude with a greater desire to give. And as the Nefesh Hachaim writes, we are created B’tzelem Elokim, which means that we are programmed in a way that corresponds to the workings of the Universe. If we respond to gratitude with a desire to give, this reflects the higher reality – that when we show our gratitude to Hashem, it creates a desire in Him to give, as it were.
This reminds me of the time I came to Reb Chaim Kanievsky to ask him for a bracha. It had been three years since I and my wife had had a child, and I told him of our situation, looking for his blessing.
When I told him that I baruch Hashem have two children, a boy and a girl, he told me I should be satisfied with what I have. This response was a little shocking to me. Here I came for a bracha, and I was told by the gadol that I should be happy with my lot? Did this mean I would have no more children ח”ו?
I spoke with my rav about the interaction, and it became clear that Rav Kanievsky did not mean that at all. What he really was saying was that in order for more blessing to come into one’s life, one must appreciate the blessings he has. When we truly have a deep sense of gratitude for what we have, and we express that, Hashem responds by giving us more.
Indeed, our new baby was born a little over a year from that conversation (four weeks ago). We named her תהילה אשירה, which means, “I will sing praise!” Thank you Hashem!