The Shema—a simple prayer many Jews say before going to sleep. Modeh Ani—a short thank you to Hashem for letting us live yet another day. These are the prayers that have lead me through my life because without them, I feel incomplete.
My day starts with Modeh Ani, as I thank Hashem for allowing me to wake up. Each night before I go to sleep, I recite the Shema for it protects me and ensures that Hashem is watching over me. These prayers are important to me as I recognize that some people do not lead the happy, healthy life I am lucky enough to live. So I thank Hashem for letting me wake up each morning and for protecting me each day. I thank Hashem for giving me eyes to see our beautiful world, hair to cover my heads, feet to walk the land he created for us, ears to hear the good in life and hands to feel Hashem’s creations. Not only do we need to thank Hashem, but I feel that we need to stay true to him no matter the circumstances; easier said than done, I know. But, as the child of Ukrainian immigrants who were not allowed to freely practice Judaism in their home country, I know the powers of Hashem.
So try to take half a minute, a sliver to time in your life, to thank Hashem.
Bella Rudoy is a rising sophomore at Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, NY.