When Leah thanked God for her son Judah, she set the stage for a future of gratitude that culminates in the coming of Moshiach. * Deuteronomy's Song of Moses outlines the fluctuations of faith and gratitude that humanity will undergo before the redemption. * On the 5th reading of Parshas Haazinu.
"When the Holy One, Blessed be He, created His world, no one thanked Him until Leah came and gave thanks" (Brachos 7b). Why is Leah's thanksgiving so transformative that it essentially kickstarts the phenomenon of expressing gratitude to God? The Rogatchover Gaon explains that Leah’s gratitude was not just an isolated event; it marked the onset of a recognition and acknowledgment of Divine beneficence that would only reach its pinnacle with the coming of Moshiach.
The Rogatchover relates this to a verse from Deuteronomy: "For the Lord will judge His people and have compassion on His servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. Then he will say, 'Where is their god, the rock they took refuge in?'" (Deuteronomy 32:36-37). He comments that these oscillations between faith and doubt, between recognition and ignorance of the Divine, will ultimately lead to a universal acknowledgment of God, especially when the House of David, from the tribe of Judah, rises in power.
ON THE THRESHOLD OF MOSHIACH
It is precisely this rollercoaster of human emotion and spirituality, argues the Rogatchover Gaon, that will eventually bring about the Messianic era. And at the heart of it all is Leah’s simple but profound act of giving thanks. It’s as if Leah's thanksgiving laid down the first brick in a long road that leads us to the time of Moshiach.
Every expression of gratitude we offer today is not just a personal moment; it is a continuation of what Leah started. With each "thank you" to God, we contribute to the cosmic momentum leading to the dawn of the Moshiach.
So, let's heed the words of the Rogatchover Gaon. Let's be mindful of our own opportunities to give thanks, realizing that each one is not merely a fleeting moment, but a significant step toward universal recognition of God, setting the stage for the Moshiach’s arrival. This is the legacy that began with Leah's thanksgiving, a legacy that each of us has the power to continue.