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The Eighteenth Blessing: Expressing Gratitude

“We gratefully acknowledge that You are Hashem, our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers for all eternity; Rock of our lives, Shield of our salvation are You from generation to generation. We shall thank You and relate Your praise – for our lives, which are committed to Your power and for our souls that are entrusted to You.”

In addition to the burnt offerings, many different types of sacrifices were brought daily in the Temple. The korban todah, the thanksgiving offering, was brought in the times of the Temple to express one’s gratitude to Hashem for special Divine Providence. Now that the Temple no longer stands, the eighteenth blessing of Shemoneh Esrei, Modim, helps take its place by thanking Hashem for the innumerable revealed and hidden miracles He performs for us each day.

“When the final redemption comes, all sacrifices and prayers will be terminated, with the exception of the thanksgiving offering” (Vayikra Rabba 9,7). At the end of days, there will be no more transgressions and there will no longer be a need for repentance sacrifices. However, we will continue to recognize Hashem’s constant kindness by offering the korban todah and with prayers of thanks.

When the prayer leader repeats Shemoneh Esrei, we listen to all of the blessings from him. There is one exception: Modim. Since we can only offer proper thanks to Hashem by doing so ourselves, our Sages compiled a special prayer, Modim D'rabbanan, to be said while Shemoneh Esrei is repeated (Abudraham).


Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 
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