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Struggling to find the right prayer of thanks.

Edit: I kept searching, and found them.

El Maleh Rachamim – for those who I have seen.

Birkat Hagomel – for I do not understand why I am so fortunate, and still alive.

Shehecheyanu – for the new life I have been blessed with, which began only last week.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, shekacha lo beolamo – for this new place, and the people in it, are unbelievably beautiful.


original post:

I did recite the Birkat Hagomel already. Perfect for the situation, but only in general. I did not feel like I accessed and expressed the depth of my gratitude. Since 2021 I have been through hell and somehow escaped unscathed every time. It is beyond coincidence. There are just too many coincidences. To the point where I feel it would be arrogant to deny that I have been blessed…

[trigger warning, somewhat disturbing]

I have indeed been very sick both mentally and physically over the past two years, but survived unscathed. I have had horrific luck that somehow turned out totally fine. Led to personal growth. A new direction; dramatically different. And a new person as well. Molded from all of this.

But additionally… on my travels – many thousands of kilometers/miles, over many years, alone, on a motorcycle… throughout countries with a lot of death on the road… I have seen those who were far less fortunate in terms of the duration of their time on this earth. Right before my eyes in some cases.

zikhrono livrakha (for it is almost always a man…)

These people surely had friends, just like me. And unlike me. A family, wife, kids… I am a lonely wanderer. I do not mean much to anyone, compared to most people. Nobody relies on me. And over the past year, I have relied heavily on others. From friends taking care of me when I was injured, to strangers helping me along the way, and beyond…

I wonder. Why not me? Why them instead? Surely it is not only because I am careful. And what is “luck” if not a blessing? My number did eventually come up. You do not live in Southeast Asia for years and escape without broken bones. I certainly did not. But even the nature of that break, and every single thing that happened after it, was outrageously fortuitous.

That accident was in April 2021. Something in my life changed… but it was not me… ever since then, even the bad things that happen to me end up being blessings in disguise.

I just want to say thanks. Tzedakah is the biggest part of my Judaism. But lately, I feel the need to pray. I would consult a Rabbi, but I’ve just moved to a new city in a new country, and we are enduring sickness here ourselves at the moment. This presents a moral quandary. I must not indulge myself at the expense of another’s health.

So… I must pray, alone.

In my position, what prayers would you say?

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