Thank you, G‑d, for more than miracles

Insight into: Parsha Chukat 

Baruch Hashem - Thank G‑d.   These famous words are on the lips of many Jews as they make their way through their day. 

‘How are you n Baruch Hashem, fine.' ‘How's business n Baruch Hashem, we're doing well'…. This expression can be dated back many generations. 

The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chasidic movement, made it his business to visit the marketplaces in the small European shtetls and pose the question, "How is your business doing." … When he would hear people respond with the traditional "Baruch Hashem," his face would glow with joy. He often told his followers that when a Jew says "thank G‑d". thus recognizing that all his blessings comes from G‑d, this creates an additional channel of blessings from the Above. 

In this week's parsha, we learn about an even higher level of thanking G‑d. The parsha relates how the children of Israel, traveling through the desert, thank G‑d for the gift of (well) water. The thanks had a double meaning as Rashi relates, because as the Jews traveled along the Amorite territory they were in danger of being attacked. It was only through the miracle that G‑d wrought that they were saved. 

For a miracle, the words "Baruch Hashem are not sufficient. The Jews created a special song of Praise to G‑d, called a Shira. A shira, literally a song, is not just saying thank you. It's a poetic elaboration on the details of the miracles that G‑d performed. 

The very first time a shira was sung was at the splitting of the Red Sea after the Exodus from Egypt. The Jewish people felt that describing the details of miracles will give them a deeper level of appreciation, and will have a stronger effect on their relationship with G‑d. 

Thanking G‑d is not limited to miracles. Each one of us experiences G‑d's involvement in our day-to-day lives, thus providing us with many opportunities to thank Him. 

On a personal note, this Sunday, July 10th, the 3rd of Tammuz, I, along with thousands of others will commemorate the 11th Yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, OBM. 

The Rebbe was a spiritual giant who impacted my life in so many ways. As a student, I spent six years studying "by the Rebbe, " His Farbrengens, the famous weekly Torah lectures, were an amazing intellectual experience 

Celebrating the holidays and attending services in the Rebbe's presence were each an experience in their own right. These were the most spiritual and meaningful years of my life, and I enjoyed each and every minute. 

Now, as the yahrzeit approaches, I once again thank G‑d for affording me the privilege of being influenced by the Rebbe, whose love and passion for each and every Jew was truly contagious.