As part of my responsibilities here at this website, I work with many authors who submit their articles for consideration for publication on our site. One of the authors that I deal with is a prolific writer, who authored several books and writes extensively for many Jewish publications. She's also a therapist, counselor and mentor to many individuals and couples worldwide.

At one point, after being in contact with this woman a few times, I sent her an email thanking her for her articles and expressing my gratitude to her for her wonderful writing — and as a result for the many people that she inspired and touched with her wisdom, sensitivity and thoughtful ideas.

Immediately I received an email back. She thanked me for my positive feedback and told me, "Your words mean so much to me because I rarely receive any feedback!"

Rarely receives any feedback?

I was dumbfounded. Such a prolific author and known personality. I would have imagined that she would need a press secretary just to take care of all her fan mail. Rarely receives feedback.


Her statement made me realize how often so many of us forget to give feedback. We assume, "Oh, I'm sure s/he already knows…there's no reason to say it."

When's the last time you told your spouse or your child that you love him or her? When did you last thank your husband for working so hard to provide for your family? When did you last tell your wife how much you appreciated all the many things that she does to make your life so much more comfortable? Or how about your child for trying so hard to please you? For the pleasure and nachas s/he gives you just by being your child?

Though there were 12 tribes of Israel, the Jewish people are called Yehudim, Jews, after the name of fourth tribe, Yehudah, Judah. When the ten tribes were conquered and exiled by the Assyrian king in the 5th century BCE, and the only remaining Israelites were the residents of the Kingdom of Judah, the term "Yehudi" or "Jew" came to refer to all Jews.

On a deeper level, the name Yehudah shares the same root as the Hebrew word hoda'ah, which means acknowledgement and gratitude. The trademark quality of a Jew is one who acknowledges and shows gratitude to G‑d for all that he has and is.

The more we gratefully acknowledge all the many little and big things being done for us, the more we inculcate within ourselves this quality—and the more we realize all the good that our Creator, and those around us, are constantly showering us with.

We all need positive feedback. Let's give it generously.