Norman D. Levy
The perfection of nature, constructed by G-d, is tailor made for the existence of humans and all species of the universe. Birds are well known nest builders. Nests are built to protect the birds and their offspring from bad weather. The male bird chooses the location and the female builds the nest. Hashem, in His wisdom has given instincts to the animal kingdom to care for their young. As a bird matures, it leaves its nest and moves on to build a nest for its young. A bird acts on pure instinct. It does not express gratitude towards its parents.
Humans are given the gift of free will to express gratitude. Parents provide food, shelter and clothing for their children. Comfort and security are taken for granted by children. Parental love for a child is the greatest love of all. As a child matures, he realizes the sacrifice of his parents. A sincere attitude of gratitude creates a loving, bonding relationship with family and friends.
Demonstrations of gratitude are accomplished through appreciation. The 4th son of Leah, was named Judah. The meaning of Judah, is an expression of gratitude. Leah was thanking Hashem for giving her another son. The Jewish nation are called Yehudim (Judah in plural), since they constantly express gratitude towards Hashem. Each morning we begin our day expressing gratitude towards Hashem. We thank Him for waking us up from sleep, for our sight, and for our health. It is an exercise of faith and gratitude. Expressions of gratitude towards Hashem create an everlasting relationship with our creator.
As a parent loves his child, Hashem loves His children. One of the main fundamentals of Judaism is to love Hashem with all our hearts, minds and souls. Observing nature assists one to appreciate how the nest of the world is constructed to be tailor made for man. The sun is 90 million miles way from the earth. It rises and sets at a specific time each day. If the sun were much closer or further, survival on this planet would be impossible. The sun is one Hashem’s greatest creations. Through nature, Hashem is constantly providing for man to the smallest detail. Observance of these daily miracles assists one with appreciation and gratitude.
During the cloudy, dark times in one’s life, it is difficult to see Hashem’s hand. King David faced many trials and tribulations in his lifetime. His attitude was to praise Hashem by writing the book of Tehilim containing songs of praise. One must understand that G-d loves each of His children and would never abandon them. As a bird weaves a nest for its young, Hashem weaves one’s nest and will never leave one’s side.
The Jewish nation has been in exile for close to 2,000 years. Constant recognition of faith is a powerful attitude of gratitude. Like a parent who loves his child, one must have the attitude that Hashem is constructing a nest in heaven and will send the final temple down fully weaved and constructed, as we gather ourselves to see the rebuilding of Jerusalem in our time. Amen.