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See Your Blessings: Fiddler on the Roof Exercise

See Your Blessings:  Fiddler on the Roof Exercise

An important factor in spiritual rehabilitation is reminding ourselves what we have to be grateful for. The attitude of gratitude teaches us not to take for granted that which has been granted us.

There are five major ways of doing this. One is by becoming fully aware of what we have. The second is realizing that it is more important to want what we have than to have what we want. The third is by being grateful for the catastrophes that might have happened from which we have been spared. The fourth is by envisioning our life without who and what we often take for granted. The fifth is by envisioning what matters most.

In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye reminds us that in Jewish tradition there is a blessing for everything–for eating bread, for seeing beauty, for smelling a wonderful fragrance, for waking up in the morning! Try this Fiddler on the Roof exercise to remind yourself of what gifts you will find when you express your gratitude for all the blessings!

As mentioned earlier, Tevye reminds us that there are blessings for everything, including for details as simple as getting dressed, for health, even for a successful venture in the washroom. There is a blessing for just about everything so you don’t overlook anything, and this is precisely WHY there is a blessing for everything–to evoke our awareness of the many, many blessings we so often overlook.

Being aware of these blessings is a stimulus to evoking the attitude of gratitude. Realizing what the withdrawal of any of these blessings would mean to the quality, and even the quantity, of our lives can only stimulate our awareness of how much we have, and of how grateful we ought to be.

There is a Yiddish proverb that reads, “If you cannot be grateful for what you have received, than be thankful for what you have been spared.”

Read more: Spirit, Guidance, Self-Help

Adapted from Crafting the Soul, by Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin, Ph.D. (Lantern Books, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from Crafting the Soul, by Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin, Ph.D. (Lantern Books, 1998).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Creating your life as a work of now


+ add your own
2:33AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

We're blessed wherever and whenever we are if we admit it

11:18AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Love the proverb,so true.

11:01AM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

Like that...

Yiddish proverb that says, “If you cannot be grateful for what you have received, than be thankful for what you have been spared.”

2:48PM PDT on Sep 18, 2012


5:01PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you Annie.

7:00AM PST on Jan 2, 2012


10:12AM PST on Mar 12, 2011


12:50AM PST on Nov 28, 2010

Thanks for the article.

12:46PM PST on Mar 6, 2010

I liked the Yiddish helps!

1:20AM PST on Jan 1, 2010

Yes, be aware of every blessings around us even the smallest simple things! Grateful for all is the attitude!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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