Hakaros Hatov

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    If everything that happens is always wats best for you and really wat hashem wants, so why does hakaros hatov only seem to be a chiyuv when something GOOD happens to you? it should also be for when someone does something BAD? If someone hits you then you should have hakaros hatov and thank him for being hashem shlicah to hurt you?


    Someone who lifts their arm to harm someone is called a rasha. Why would you thank him? Thank Hashem for giving you this ‘tzarah’ over a different one, but definitely dont feed into someones rishus.


    Hi coreytothecup.

    You bring up a great point. And I think many people do see bad things as being for the ultimate good and/or a kappara, but they dont express hakaros hatov.

    Maybe that is something we should start doing, unless it makes us come across in an undignified way, or like a masochist, like in the example you gave of someone getting hit responding to their assailant with, “Thank you, I really appreciate that.” Or, “Can you hit me again, just for good measure?”

    While what you say is totally true, how would it come out in the wash if people really acted on it?

    “Thank you for robbing my belongings.”

    “Thank you for terminating my employment.”

    “Thank you for ripping me off on this repair bill.”

    Again, while everything is certainly for the ultimate good, openly showing appreciation on every level can make us look strange.

    I am sure other posters will have interesting perspectives to share.


    Good question. From what I understand, it is true that everything is for our best. But we all have choices as well. If someone makes the choice to hit someone else, or negatively affect someone else, there are a few things happening: 1) A person is using free will to do something wrong. 2) G-d knows that it was going to happen. 3) It will cause a reaction.

    Now, we are incapable of knowing why everything has to happen, and it isn’t our business to know. But if something happens that is beyond our control, that is seemingly bad, we should try to believe that it was for our best. But that doesn’t mean that such a thing had to happen in the way that it did.

    It is possible that the outcome could have taken place even if the bad thing didn’t happen. Therefore, a person actively trying to do something negative shouldn’t require your thanks, because while it may be for our best, it could be that the effect of that action could have happened in a way that the person didn’t have to do something negative, and therefore, by him doing it, it may not have been the best way for it to happen. But I don’t know if it is WRONG to have hakaras hatov for that. Maybe it is a good thing to have hakaras hatov for it. I’m just trying to show the process behind it, which may help give a better understanding and enable you to come to your own conclusion.

    Also, perhaps hakaras hatov is meant to be when you perceive something good. That is the definition, after all. And while something seemingly bad may be for our good, chances are we don’t see how it is for our good. At least not right away. And therefore, we can’t have hakaras hatov for it, until we can openly see how it is for our good.


    It’s an explicit Mishnah. You have to be Modeh Al Hara’ah just like for Tovah.


    Hi Same2.

    I think coreythecup was specifically asking why we dont openly thank them for the hurt they may have inflicted.

    You are saying there is a mishnah that says you have to openly express that thanks?

    Avram in MD


    so why does hakaros hatov only seem to be a chiyuv when something GOOD happens to you? it should also be for when someone does something BAD?

    Note the change from “something” to “someone.” I would have agreed with your statement had it read, “it should also be for when something BAD happens to you.”

    To put it another way, there are two kinds of hakaras hatov: gratitude to Hashem, and gratitude to creation, e.g., people. We should feel gratitude to Hashem for everything that happens to us, because He is in control of everything and knows what is best for us. This is not the case with people, however. So if someone were to heaven forbid hit me, I think it would be amazing and right to show hakaras hatov to Hashem, who is acting for your best interests, but not to the hitter, who was certainly not acting for your best interests. Otherwise, as miritchka pointed out, you would be expressing gratitude for a sin, which is not appropriate.


    Interesting question. You can add “Gam Zu LiTova” to your question. In other words, why even acknowledging “Gam zu LiTova” if it’s all for the good.

    I wonder if the answer is that good and bad is, indeed, as we perceive it relating to our small world, but not necessarily from a long-term and certainly not from a global perspective.

    For example, if someone leaves his phone at home and loses 30 minutes returning to get it, that is definitely “bad” since nobody likes to be hassled and lose time, etc.

    But it could be that, as a result of this “bad” delay, something good would happen *later/ultimately*. Maybe not. Either way, we don’t usually know.

    But at the time one is late/delayed, I think the most appropriate reaction is gam zu liTova, meaning it’s for the *ultimate* best (and be makir tov for that) even though it is still very annoying now.

    Hakaras HaTov is always appropriate, even in this case, but it’s obviously different than if someone gives a well-received shiur, where there’s no doubt that’s a “good” thing, and one would be even more grateful to Hashem for that good.


    Good questions, and great points made in replies! I have heard of people thanking for the “bad” things people do, ALTHOUGH not straight after, every time. I would think that if somebody WOULD do like you say, it’s hardly likely for it to be a genuine appreciation, and therefore doesn’t seem straight to me. Unless it’s an older person whose worked on him/herself a lot through the years to reach there, it doesn’t seem realistic for it to be “real”.


    we grew up this way, whenever something (seemingly) bad happened in our house, my father used to lift up his hands and say a big loud “boruch hashem!”, or gam zee letovah, sometimes we really thought he has just got a good business deal, or heard a great besura, but how shocke did I get when I realized he has just cut his finger, or dropped and broke a crystal bowl..

    sem graduate

    ???? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????

    There is a difference in practical halacha though…

    A person is required to bless in both situations but: if it is a good situation – the person is required to say ???? ???? ?????? – acknowledging that it is good. If it is a situation which to the human eye seems bad, saying ???? ?????? would be hypocritical. Therefore, a person is required to say ???? ??? ???? – admitting that it is Hashem’s will and that it must be the righteous thing – but not pretending that you’re thrilled with it.


    Now thats a madreiga, I must say..I dont know how many people fit that category…

    The little I know

    Here’s a thought. When Eliezer received agreement from Besuel and Lavan to take Rivka for Yitzchok Avinu, the posuk tells us that Eliezer bowed to HKB”H, to which Rashi explains “Mikan shemodim al besuroh tovah”, from here we learn that we are to be grateful for good news. Obvious question – do we mimick everything that Eliezer did? What was remarkable that Rashi points this out? A simple explanation is that the gratitude we might have expected should be to Besuel and Lavan for permitting Rivka to go, thus fulfilling the obligation Eliezer committed to Avrohom. However, the posuk relates that Eliezer bowed to Hashem. The message is that the ultimate gratitude is due to HKB”H, which is why the posuk spells it out, and Rashi draws attention to this.

    Following from this thought, there is much that requires us to be grateful, and we do so in Modim each tefiloh. If someone wronged us, perhaps the only gratitude is to Hashem, which we accomplish at our next tefilloh (if we daven properly). The one who hurt us may not be due that gratitude.


    Does anyone listen to rabbi walerstein??? his last 3 weeks have been amazing about hakros hatov!!!


    I wouldn’t thank an abusive person for hurting me, but if something bad happened chalilah, I would thank Hashem for it not being worse, and ask Him to let it be a kaparah.



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