In this week’s Parsha, Va’aira, Moshe is commanded by Hashem to go to Pharaoh early in the morning, when Pharaoh is in the Nile. Hashem wants Moshe to ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrews free in order for them to take a 3-day trip into the desert to make a sacrifice to Hashem. Moshe relays to Pharoah that Hashem will smite him if he doesn’t not let the Hebrew slaves depart from Egypt. Of course, Pharaoh denies Moshe’s request and Moshe is forced to bring about the first plague.
However, since the first plague consisted of tainting the Nile with blood, the very Nile that saved Moshe’s life, Moshe objected and could not find the strength within him to smite the river (Hashem purposely challenged Moshe, seeking this very response from him). Here we see the gratitude Moshe displayed for even an inanimate object. From this, we should learn that if we are to derive gratitude for anything or anyone that has bestowed kindness upon us, how much greater should our gratitude for Hashem be, since it is He who is constantly bestowing kindness to us. In all we need to appreciate all that Hashem has given us in this world, inanimate or not, and recognize that having gratitude will enable us to become more like our father Moshe Rabbaneu.