“May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.” — 2 Samuel 2:6
One of the first things King David did when he officially became king was to show appreciation.
A day earlier, David’s enemy, King Saul, had been killed by the Philistines. Now, David never really harbored ill feelings toward Saul; it was Saul who felt threatened by David and tried relentlessly to kill him. So when David heard of Saul’s death, he did not celebrate. Instead, he mourned and instructed his followers to do the same.
As David was mourning Saul, he heard that the Philistines had beheaded Saul and put his body, along with those of his family members, on display. The people of Jabesh Gilead, a part of Israel, heard what had happened and decided not to stand for the disrespect of King Saul. They raided the village where the bodies were being kept, reclaimed them, and gave them a proper burial. When David heard what the people of Jabesh Gilead did, he commended them and expressed his gratitude, promising to repay them for their valiant actions.
I read a story about a young man who applied for a managerial position at a major company. He passed the first round of interviews and was then interviewed by the company’s director. The director noticed the young man’s fine marks from high school through graduate school. The director asked him if he had ever received any scholarships, but the young man answered that he hadn’t.
The director remarked that his father must have paid a lot of tuition to get him where he was, but the young man explained that his father had died young and his mother footed the bill. When the director asked what the man’s mother did for a living, the young man told him she worked in a laundry. Then the director made a strange request of the young man. He told him to go home and wash his mother’s hands and then come back for an answer the next day.
Strange as that was, the young man did as requested and when he did, he noticed how bruised and battered his mother’s hands were. He realized the sacrifice she had made working hard all those years so that he could succeed. When he returned to the director the next day, there were tears in his eyes. The director understood that the man had learned about appreciation and gave him the job.
One of the most important character traits is the ability to appreciate what others do for us. We must thank, honor, and acknowledge the many people who have worked hard for us and others. In that spirit, I wish to thank all of you who have partnered with us at The Fellowship in our biblically inspired efforts to help Jews around the world. Who might you thank today?
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President