Appreciating the Difficulties of Showing Appreciation

Showing appreciation can be very difficult. Mrs. Dina Schoonmaker points out that when we show appreciation there is a certain diminishing of the self that occurs, because we are admitting that we needed that which was done. She also quotes Rav Wolbe zt”l who points out that we develop an attitude of “I deserve it” which inhibits expressions of appreciation.

In the case of a Shul, we have an added difficulty because the volunteers deliver their services on a daily or weekly basis. We would have to show our appreciation to a lot of people on a regular basis. It’s not going to happen.

Most people who have been in the Shul service business for an extended period of time don’t expect expressions of appreciation. They might appreciate them, but if they expect them, they are in for a big disappointment. They serve because it’s what Hashem wants and most are happy to have the opportunity to do the Chesed.

However, even if we don’t express the appreciation we should try to think about it on a periodic basis. One of the main goals of Chesed is to create bonds between people and those bonds exist in our hearts and minds. The good people of our Shuls do a lot for us and we can build those bonds of connection by feeling the appreciation in our hearts.