I got nothing…

to say


Doesn’t matter…. I’ll write anyway.

After keeping my promise to myself to post a weekly story and stumbling on this sort of nondescript title, I realized this nothing idea is closer to the truth than I initially thought. 

Judaism has taught me that I am both nothing and simultaneously capable of tipping the entire world into goodness by one action.

Today I got the nothing part down; I don’t feel like I have anything innovative to share.

Yet the “nothing” carries tremendous comfort.

Recently, my trust and connection with G-d /Hashem has taken a big lift. Each morning, for the umpteenth time, I say a few things for which I am grateful. Despite my good intentions, it always feels like an exercise in rote recitation. A fill in the blank or check the boxes. I’ve known many people who swear by the value of practicing gratitude and it deeply affects their personal attitudes and perspective. For me, it’s just felt dutiful and un-impactful.


The ritual however has not changed. When I wake up, I say Modeh Ani and then I add a short very basic gratitude list. Thank you G-d/Hashem for my eyesight, for my hearing, for my sense of touch, for the air conditioning…

Now, here’s the different thing. As I thank G-d, I’ve recently begun telling myself…  
My eyesight is here, right this second, because G-d/Hashem is giving me the gift of sight right this second. My hearing is here right this second because Hashem right this second is gifting me with the ability to hear. Somehow I accept this as true.

And suddenly gratitude is not a platitude. It fills me. For just those few moments, I don’t take for granted this myriad of seemingly normal things (like the ability to walk, talk, see…) and I have a glimpse of their majesty.


I am nothing without G-d giving me all these things and renewing them every moment. A mind, a beating heart, and to the heart of the matter, a soul.
Shehechezarta Bi nishmati B’chemla…(G-d restores my soul to me one more day with kind mercy).

I am taught our actions absolutely matter. With the brain, hands, and feet that we are given, we make a difference. Whether it is in the little condolence card we send that helps a bereaved acquaintance feel just a bit of comfort or saying hello with a smile to a  curmudgeon co-worker, it matters. 

Lest I get too caught up in my nothingness, I have this holy responsibility.  

Baby steps are good. 

Amazing how…

nothing becomes something
in G-d’s hands.

Love, Vivi. ©

p.s. Here is the Modeh Ani morning prayer and an article from MyJewishLearning.com.
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מלך חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ani l’fanecha, melech chai v’kayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati, b’chemla raba emunatecha 
I thank You, living and enduring King, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness.

p.p.s. While we’re at it, remember this?  Seinfeld – The pitch to NBC

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“You Can Tip The Scales” Video from Chabad.org, Nothing and Brown dog Photo from Canva.com, Dog in blue shirt Photo by Charles Deluvio, Train tracks Photo by Dirk Vetter, Red critter Photo by Christine Sponchia, Lion Photo by Birger Strahl, Toddler Photo by  Reynardo Etenia Wongso 

8 thoughts on “I GOT NOTHING

  1. dawni'el ben leib halevy says:

    Another good read.
    And hidden within, a vital lesson about Judaism and “repetition.” The same blessings, benedictions, and prayers, each day, each week, each year, never changing. Within that repetition, though, is our opportunity to dwell deeply within one or another of the “boruch atah H'” and (to me sometimes suddenly) appreciate the immediacy and intimacy of the blessing.
    Nothing. Nothing but the opportunity to open our eyes, as you relate, and see the magnificent bounty Hashem sets before us each day.

    • Vivi says:

      What a great point Dawni’el ben leib halev. The repetition itself, though it may often feel rote, can be the very vehicle of the inspiration. Thank you your insight! 🙂

  2. Linda Disselkamp says:

    That’s an awful lot of something to be nothing. Seinfeld was a show about nothing but this post is not. It’s very profound and I got some good insight from it so thank you.

  3. Harriet Weiss says:

    Love your posts. Really enjoyed this Seinfeld clip. Their whole show was based on “nothing”- those everyday, mundane occurrences that help form our relationships and help us see clearly try it what is important.

  4. Susanne Katchko says:

    This is wonderful. Vivi, you write posts that simultaneously give us permission to be human and also to reach for the stars as we are aware of our “holy responsibility.” What impacted me most was your expressions of gratitude for what you have “right this second.” What a quick reset of gratitude! Thank you for this blog, which is an act of kindness.

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