Jan 30, 2015

Themes of Recent Times

There are two themes which have made great inroads in recent years. They are, hashgacha pratis (divine providence) and gratitude.

Have you noticed it too? When I was growing up, it wasn't commonplace to tell hashgacha pratis stories.  Today? These stories are everywhere.  There is a column in the Jewish Press, Lessons in Emunah, books and stories galore.  There are the books, There is no Such Thing as Coincidence volumes 1 and 2, When the Time is Right by Dvora Kiel and the bestselling Small Miracles series whose purpose was to introduce the concept of hashgacha to the general public..

As for gratitude, there are numerous articles I've come across on the subject.  How many times have you encountered the suggestion that you keep a Gratitude Journal and record, daily, what you are grateful for? There's R' Pliskin's Thank You book, R' Shalom Arush/R' Lazer Brody's Garden of Gratitude (see this post: here) and R' Wallerstein/Finkelman's book on gratitude along with a journal.

When it comes down to it, these two themes are fundamental to Yiddishkeit.  In fact, if you were asked to pick two concepts that would be recurring topics in articles, lectures, and books, you couldn't do much better than these two themes (however ... see next post).  They are about acknowledging that there is a G-d and that He supervises the world in a most particular way, and being grateful to Him and all He provides us with, which presupposes G-d's goodness, His love for us, and how all He does is for our benefit.

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