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12 Words That Say It All - The Attitude of Gratitude

Modeh Ani Le’fanecha
Melech Chai V ’Kayam,
Shehechezarta Bi Nish’mati
B ’Chem’lah
Rabah Emunatecha.

Modeh Ani

"I Greatfully Thank You, living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me with compassion - abundant is your faithfulness!”
This short prayer of Thanksgiving - "Thank You Hashem! " - is recited immediately upon awakening in the morning.

Because Modeh Ani does not contain any of the names of Hashem, we do not have to wait until we wash our hands (Netilat Yadayim) before we say the prayer. Thus, we can use our first waking moments in the service of Hashem.

…..from A Taste of Judiasm – From A to Z

Our first words when we arise in the morning should be, "Modeh Ani Le'fanecha," "I thank you Hashem." thanking Hashem for returning our souls and granting us another day to serve him. These opening words set the tone for our daily relationship with Hashem. As the Baal Shem Tov taught, a person should be careful to use his first thought, speech, and action of the day for Hashem.

One of the central themes in Judaism is the concept of thanksgiving.
Indeed, we are called "Yehudim," a name derived from the name Yehudah. Leah gave Yehudah that name because if reflected her profound appreciation to Hashem for granting her this child. She felt she now had more than she deserved. The Gerer Rebbe, zl, comments that every "Yehudi" should feel that whatever he receives from Hashem is more than he actually deserves. As one sage once said, "We would do well to reflect upon the "Ani," "I," and the "Le'fanecha," "You (Hashem)." When we realize who we really are, and before Whom we stand, our sense of appreciation would be greatly enhanced.

Modeh Ani is a prayer of recent origin. The earliest known source is in the 16th century commentary on the Siddur, "Seder Ha-Yom" written by the early Acharon Rav Moshe Ibn Makhir of Safed [Venice, 1599], (p. 1), a later contemporary of Rav Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch.

The Talmud Yerushalmi (Juerusalem Talmud) cites the initial words Modeh Ani with a different ending to be said for each of the three daily services (Berachot 80:4).

According to the Shulchan Aruch, one should pause slightly between the words "bechemlah - compassion" and " rabbah - abundant (is Your faithfulness)." Rabbah and emunatecha should be said together, as in the verse, "They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Eicha 3:23)

I Cannot confirm the authenticity of this story, however the point is made.

“At a United States convention of neurologists from all over the world, one of the main topics was the phenomenon of people fainting upon getting up from bed.

“One of the speakers was Professor Linda McMaron of Great Britain and she gave a lengthy speech regarding her study on this issue. She elaborated that after many years of study and investigation on this subject, she came to the conclusion that such fainting is caused by the sharp transfer between laying down and standing up. Professor McMaron said that it takes 12 seconds for the blood to flow from the feet to the brain. But when a person quickly stands up upon waking up, the blood gets ‘thrown’ to the brain too quickly and the result is fainting. She suggested that each person, even one that does not have a tendency to faint, upon waking up should sit on the bed, and count slowly to 12 to avoid dizziness, weakness, and/or fainting. “Her speech was rewarded with loud applause and enthusiastic feedback.

“Another professor, a Jewish religious man asked permission to speak.

“He said, ‘With us, the Jews, there is an old tradition, thousands of years old, to say a prayer of thanks to the Creator of the World for providing us with the opportunity of a new day for accomplishment. The prayer is said immediately upon waking up, while one is still in bed and lying down. There are 12 words in this prayer and if one regulates himself to say it slowly with concentration, it takes exactly 12 seconds to say it...12 words in 12 seconds.’

“He said the prayer slowly in Hebrew, ‘Modeh ani le’fanecha melech chai v’kayam, shehechezarta bi nish’mati b’chem’lah. Rabah emunatecha. -- "I Greatfully Thank You, living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me with compassion - abundant is your faithfulness!”

“The auditorium burst into a standing applause that roared throughout the auditorium. This time…it was for the Creator of the World.”

From Torah Tots Tefilah Tales

                         Music by Mark Bloom and Rabbi Joe Black
(c) 1999 Lanitunes Music

Click on Modeh Ani to play   Click on Modeh Ani to play

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