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Modeh Ani

Modeh Ani

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A new day, new battles. Actually, one battle that assumes different forms: I Want vs. I Should. The day’s first battlefield is your bed, and the first shot is fired when the alarm clock rings. I Want reaches out to hit the snooze button; I Should is ready to jump out of bed and take on another day.

That’s why the first instruction in the Code of Jewish Law is: “Be strong as a lion when you wake up in the morning to serve your Creator.” Because if you win this battle, the rest are lamb chops.

G‑d chose to return your soul to your body and grant you once again the gift of lifeHere’s some fodder for your cannon in those early morning forays: Think how, every night, your soul ascends to heaven to recharge. This morning, G‑d chose to return your soul to your body and grant you once again the gift of life—a sure sign that there’s a little dark corner left in this world for you to come and illuminate. G‑d trusts that you are up to the task.

Now verbalize it:

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.

Modeh anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-he-chezarta bee nishmatee b’chemla, raba emunatecha. (Click here for audio of a Modeh Ani song.)

I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.

These are the first words we utter every morning—while still lying in bed. Our first conscious moments are spent thanking G‑d for the gift of life. It doesn’t matter what we did yesterday or last night; nothing can taint those first innocent words that sit at our primal consciousness.

Still having a problem dragging yourself out of bed? Use your imagination. Picture yourself lying there while a king or head of state stands above you, waiting for you to get your act together to execute some critical mission.

Well, it isn’t a king or president. It is the one who creates kings, presidents, and the entire world at every moment—and you too. Again. Today.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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leon roiter barranquilla June 6, 2017

ashem restored your soul

You thank him for such a great gift. The instructions given to all jews by the Torah can only be followed when your soul is restored.Torah does not give instructions for the holam abah.
the same goes on for the pact of Abraham, can only be aknowledged when your soul is restored.
The Torah does not give instructions to follow when you close your eyes. Does not tell you how to give your soul to ashem every night..Jews can only do mitzvaot when your soul is back.No soul no mitzvaot. Reply

Nancy L. Grooms Marfa June 4, 2017

I have a role today. That's awesome! Reply

jim dallas May 29, 2017

eye-opening! in itself! Reply

Ana Champaign May 28, 2017

Beginning a new job this week, thank you for this post. Reply

Anonymous May 28, 2017

Amen! Excellent! Thanks for posting! Reply

Gabe NYC March 1, 2017

Thank you so much explaining why we must be thankful the moment out eyes open. know I need to start doing this asap, and will l, despite any setbacks, work to be the lion He's expecting of me. Reply

Anonymous Somewhere February 16, 2017

I love this site thank you!!!👐💙 Reply

xyz World November 5, 2016

Similarity "Alhamdu lillahil-ladhi 'ahyana ba'da ma 'amatana wa'ilayhin-nushur"
'Praise is to Allah Who gives us life after He has caused us to die and to Him is the return'. .....
Muslims recite this when we wake up in the morning, unbelievable how similar are the translations Reply

Tony Johnson April 19, 2017
in response to xyz:

All Religions revert back to one "tale," that has been told by more than one." We all took evil
compunction where ever we migrated Reply

B L M Uk April 20, 2017
in response to xyz:

Because Mohammed copied it from the Jews! Reply

Shawn January 22, 2016

Thank you so much for teaching me so many thing I couldn't verbalize.
What a gift. Reply

Maurice U.S.A. November 4, 2015

Modeh Ani... I am Modeh Ani in the sense of :

When I Say "I am " who is speaking? My Soul, my body , who ?.....
Please explain Reply

Anonymous USA June 19, 2015

Modeh Ani Thank you for your everyday inspiration. We need it today more than ever that this world seems to be going mad. May Hashem, blessed be He, keep blessing you all Rabbis who bring the message of the AllMighty to all of us. I have my Siddur and pray it every morning, but sometimes forget to say while still in bed. How great is our God! You fulfill the mitzvah... Reply

Anonymous June 19, 2015

Thanks! That's beautiful!! Reply

Mark LA December 18, 2013

Modeh Ani: Chabad gives it even deeper meaning -- a spiritual energizer! I love this piece. It makes the "Modeh Ani" both a sword of Judah and a dream of Joseph. I've always enjoyed saying it -- but now even more. Thank you for another great insight. Reply

Robert Hertfordshire November 15, 2013

I enoyed this insight into Modeh Ani. I have tried to say it every day but this serves as a reminder as to why I should say it daily! Thank you! Reply

Anonymous February 25, 2013

it's a Journey I have said before , maybe in other forums. if you want to get inside the Modeh Ani, you should go to Rabbi Tzvi's video. It will take you inside the meaning word by word.

The other thing for r h is that in the Chabad.org forms writing down you inner thoughts needn't be edited. If i am not mistaken your " Why " / raison d'etre is to make the world's people harmonize. It's a beautiful core, and cannot be repeated enough. You are blessed with language skills that give of yourself and thus makes you an inspirational leader to others, followers. You never seem to say your essence in the same way. Each time you write in a forum there is just one more way to convey your thoughts. So, thanks. It's not enough to have a rabbi's insight. Yours is required too. Reply

Cheryl Whatley St. Louis February 25, 2013

for children thanks for the idea of the bedside words. I'll have the preschoolers with whom I work create a pretty frame to take home with Modeh/Modah Ani in it. Reply

ruth housman marshfield, ma February 4, 2013

it's a Journey to get inside this prayer, truly Inside, I think you've got to take a journey of soul which is also deeply soul. It's possible to get there "express", to feel this, totally, as part of one's being, perhaps from the Start, but many people I know, don't really "see this" and they call themselves unbelievers and the G_d word is anathema to them. They don't like being told what to say or feel. And yet, these people, and I know many, are deeply sensitive and love the environment, and they love their children, and act for social causes with warmth and commitment. I think they are in this same place without knowing it, without consciously uttering this prayer. I think it's possible to follow the deepest of commandments without knowing one is following them, and so, there is an alchemy to all this, that is truly majestic, in thinking deeply on this issue.

I know when I write, and I do, heart and soul down the lines, I have to be very careful in articulating a feeling that is deep . Reply

Anonymous Massachusetts January 8, 2013

Strong as a lion! A wonderful way to start the morning - thank you for this beautiful post Reply

Hannah Michal Leah August 21, 2012

Modeh Ani Todah Raba. When I read your article and especially the Modeh Ani, visions of my mother surged forth who every morning quietly recited this vital prayer. Thank you for reminding me to continue the tradition. Reply

Anonymous Wichita, KS July 3, 2012

Prayer for the Slugabed You know, I have--since I turned thirteen--have had the unfortunate habit of sleeping in on days when there is no alarm clock. If I have work to do or it is Shabbat, I get up fine. But if there is nothing I have to do...
Memorizing this prayer will help me reform myself. Reply

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