Rabbi Yisrael Gustman had a small
garden outside his office at the
Yeshiva, and every day he would go
out to work in the garden, watering the
plants. The students at the Yeshiva
would gaze at this action with curiosity, as to why their
great rabbi would spend his precious time watering and
taking care of plants. Once, upon seeing the curiosity of
his students, he explained to them that this was an act of
Hakarat Hatov, recognizing and showing gratitude.
Prior to the war, he was once taking a walk with his
teacher, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski. Rabbi Chaim
pointed out to him which vegetation and grasses were edible,
this information turned out to be very important to
Rabbi Gustman, enabling him to save his life during his
escapes into the forest when the Nazis invaded Vilna.
Consequently, Rabbi Gustman felt that watering the plants
was an act of Hakarat Hatov to these various grasses and
vegetation that had sustained him during the second world
If we must show gratitude towards inanimate things,
how much more so, should we show Hakarat Hatov to
human beings who help us and do something kind for us.
One of the most important parts of our service to G-d is
recognizing all the good that He performs for us, giving us
whatever we have in all aspects of wealth, health and happiness.
Let us all strive to being individuals who regularly have
Hakarat Hatov, and thus make us happier and more fulfilled
each day of our lives. And let us say amen!
If anyone knows of someone who is ill or
has passed or is in some other need
please call or email me directly so that
I can make contact with them. My number
is 305-338-3029 and my email is