Say “Thank You” the Jewish Way

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The Torah portion for this week, Mishpatim, is filled with numerous laws and regulations regarding how we relate to one another. For example, Exodus 23:5 states that if you see the ox of your enemy overburdened, you must help him unload the creature, even though he is in fact, your enemy.

Which brings me to the subject of saying “thank you” to those who have done us a kindness.  It is my observation that it is increasingly rare for the recipient of a good turn to say “thank you” to their benefactor.  In our “me first/ “me only” society “thank you” is a quaint anachronism.   Even when we perform the good action and someone thanks us- we are uncomfortable and either dismiss the thanks or say, “it was nothing” or “no worries” (how can a Jewish person say “no worries”-all we do is worry!)   Anyway, there is a particularly Jewish way of saying “thank you.” When someone does us a kindness, say, helps us unload our over laden ox, it is customary to say “tizkeh lemitzvot, (if to a male) or tizki lemitzvot to a female. This means, “May you merit many more mitzvot” and is a perfectly nice thing to say and no doubt brightens their day.  So remember tizkeh lemitzvot to a male and tikzi lemitzvot to a female. For those who are wondering, if you are being honored by a large group, say the Nobel Peace Prize Committee-you would say Tizku lemitzvot. (May you (plural) merit many more mitzvot).

Thanks for listening.  Tizku lemitzvot

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