When “Thank You” isn’t enough?

I was raised with a tremendous love for Israel, and the highest awe and respect for the IDF. Without significant faith in Hashem and belief in His miracles, it is almost impossible to comprehend and try understand how Am Yisrael throughout its entire existence has survived and even thrived through generations of hatred, pogroms, wars, a holocaust and the constant imminent threat of powerful enemies on all sides and at any moment.

I was also raised to say “thank you”; to anyone who did anything for me. I was brought up in a home where “please” and “thank you” were indeed magic words, and were woven into our vocabulary in the most beautiful, soft and unassuming way. You never ask without please. You never receive without thank you.

The one thing I am trying so hard to relay to my children is the timeless and most important value of gratitude: showing deep and sincere appreciation for every single thing in your life, all of your blessings. Including the tough ones, the painful ones and the complex ones that we will never understand or fully conceptualize in this lifetime.

But how can we say an adequate “thank you” to our courageous men and women who defend us, protect us and guard us with their own lives. How do you show real appreciation and gratitude to someone for literally saving your life, especially at the expense of their own? 
How do you stop and say thank you to the men and women who are putting their entire lives and families on hold to make sure we can be with ours? How to do say thank you to someone who makes the ultimate sacrifice?

Words don’t seem to suffice, at all.

I believe the only way to say “thank you” is to fully live one’s thanks – 
To be worthy of being looked after, protected and saved.
To look after and cherish everything we have. 
To share and spread the goodness of our blessings with as many lives as we can possibly touch. Our soldiers are watching over us night and day. They are fighting for our very survival on land, air and sea and they are doing so with absolute bravery, passion and integrity. It is beyond my comprehension to witness their morale, spirit and complete faith and dedication.I cannot begin to try fathom the level of mental, spiritual, emotional and physical strength it requires for such young people, many just in their late teens and early twenties, to combat an enemy far beyond their years in utter hatred.

To say thanks to our IDF for me, means:
To love my country with all my heart. To do whatever I can to make a meaningful contribution to my community, even in some small way. 
To live a life of devoted service and giving – to anyone I can possibly help, impact, empower and inspire. To support my leaders who have unthinkable decisions before them.To show the truth to the world who so desperately needs to stand with us.To continue to make Israel, my home, worth fighting for and to be a proud part of my nation, worth saving.

If we can stay united. 
If we can keep up the unprecedented chessed. 
If we can nurture the magnificent spirit felt throughout our cities.
If we can learn and pray with all our might. 
If we can reach out to our neighbors who seek peace as much as we do. 
If we can eradicate terrorism, not only from our region, but as a light to the world at large. 
If we can innovate, create, build and impact on the world in every sphere as we do. 
If we can live our values and morals in a just, caring and loving manner. 
If we can use Israel’s true beauty, wisdom, developments, advancements and discoveries to change the world. 
Then that is the greatest way we can say “thank you” to our soldiers and to Hashem for our richest blessings. 

May the lives of our precious fallen heroes be blessed. 
May the lives of all those lost in these horrible times be blessed. 
May Hashem continue to shower our beloved IDF with His miracles and bring true peace to all of Am Yisrael very very soon.

I don’t know how to thank you enough. But hopefully, if we live this way, and show our sincerest gratitude this way and are deserving of being looked after, protected and saved, perhaps the words “thank you”, won’t even be necessary.

About the Author
Andi Saitowitz was born in South Africa and fulfilled her Zionist dream of living in Israel since 1999 following a Bnei Akiva year's leadership program in Israel after matriculation. Described by her clients, associates, friends & family as a Transformational Leader, Inspiration Queen and Lover-of-Life, Andi Saitowitz is a certified Personal Development Life Coach & Motivational Speaker graduating from the esteemed Adler Institute, a member of the International Coaching Federation and a Global Lumina Practitioner. With a professional background in Psychology, Organizational Communication, Research and Practice and years experience in Non-Profit Donor Relations and International Fundraising Campaigns, Andi is passionate about and committed to helping people bring out their absolute best. She firmly believes that when we discover and offer our gifts to the world, we become far more aware and appreciative of the amazing opportunities around us, and conscious of our power, our choices and life experiences. Andi is married to her best friend, and is a blessed mom of 3 awesome children. In her spare time she loves playing sports, reading, volunteering and is co-founder of the latest meaningful gifts online charity portal Andi runs a private coaching practice and offers comprehensive professional coaching services to individuals, couples, teams and organizations, bringing a magnificent mix of Positive and Adlerian Psychology, NLP, Mindfulness and High Performance Training to everyone she coaches, mentors and inspires.
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