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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.


      Shevat 23, 5770, 2/7/2010

      The Importance of Gratitude

      May this bit of Torah learning be dedicated to the complete and speedy recovery of the Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, who has brought so much blessing and benefit to my family and millions of Jews all over the world.

      In the week’s Torah portion, one of the things we learn from the reunion between Moshe and Yitro is the importance of gratitude and giving thanks to G-d for all of the goodness and wondrous blessings which He bestows upon us.

      So I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to Hashem for all of the blessings which He has granted me, and here is a very partial list:

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having granted me life.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having made me a Jew.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having created me with healthy, physical powers, like seeing and hearing and thinking and talking and being able to taste and smell and walk and perform all of the normal human functions, and for planting within me a Heavenly soul.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for providing for all of my needs from the day of my birth until this very day.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for leading me out of the darkness of my secular American life to realize that You and You alone are the King of the World and my Maker.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having miraculously healed me from a chronic case of ulcerative colitis.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having led me to the Torah.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for making me realize that a Jew belongs in the Land of Israel and not in the lands that You have apportioned to the gentiles.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having accepted my penitence and for forgiving me each time that I fall and return to You in sincere and heartfelt t’shuva.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for helping me make aliyah.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having given me parents who supported my return to Torah and my aliyah to Israel.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for the privilege of bringing my parents to live in Israel with me and to honor them as best as I could.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for leading me to Rabbis like Rav Daniel Dayan, Rav Yehuda Hazani, Rav David Samson, Rav Dov Begun, Rav Avraham Shapira, Rav Mordechai Eliahu, Rav Meir Kahane, Rav Moshe Kaplan, Rav Eliezar Melamed, and many others, who taught me Torah and led me to see how You are bringing about the Redemption of the Jewish People in our time.

      With Rav Daniel Dayan - "Tov L'Hodot L'Hashem!"

      THANK YOU HASHEM for giving me the honor to play a part in the rebuilding of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel, and in enabling me to use the talents that You gave me on behalf of the Torah, the ingathering of the exiles, the Jewish Nation, Jerusalem, and the Land of Israel.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having led me to Rav Eliahu Leon Levi to learn the importance of sexual holiness and guarding the Brit.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for having given me a wonderful wife and wonderful children.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for providing for my livelihood and all of my family’s needs.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for giving me a home in Jerusalem.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for giving me good friends who are too many to name.

       THANK YOU HASHEM for every breath and every heartbeat, and every chance to serve You, and study Your Torah, and improve my ways to become a better Jew.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for answering my prayers, and thank you for the prayers that You chose not to answer, for my best interest, even though I do not always understand the reasons why.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for everything in my life, and for being a loving and faithful shepherd to the Jewish People from the beginning of our history until today, for forgiving us of the sins which led to our exile from Israel, and for bringing us back to our Land, in our time, amidst wondrous miracles, in fulfillment of the words of the Prophets of Israel as set down in the Torah for all the world to see.

      THANK YOU HASHEM for everything. THANK YOU.