Hoda’ah: Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch
The blessings that went before look to the future. They are prayers for the bestowal of the many gifts and favors that will serve to sustain and further our lives both as individuals and as members
of the Jewish people.
The Blessing of Thanksgiving, beginning with Modim, reminds us of the great debt of gratitude which we owe to our Maker even now for all the things which He has given us in the past and for all the favors that we still receive at every moment of the present.
Hoda’ah, Todah, is not mere verbal thanksgiving. Derived from “Yad” or hand, it actually means to “give God one’s hand”; that is, to devote all the activirties of our lives to the fulfillment of His will.
It is homage deriving from our awareness of what we owe Him, an acknowldgement of our debt of gratitude.
In fact, our hand belongs to God for it is from Him alone that we have whatever strength and ability we possess.
To be part of Israel means to “sign over our hand to God, “This one will sign his hand to God, and adopt the name of Israel.” (Isaiah 44:5)