Q. There are so many tefilot and bakashot during the Yemei Hadin for all our necessities and needs for the coming year. How come we don’t find in the sidur, machzor, or in Halacha sefarim any tefila or bracha for thanking Hashem for the life given and all the good things and chassadim that we enjoyed during the past year? Where is the hakarat hatov to Hashem for all He has given us?”
A. I had the opportunity to present this question then to Horav Shmuel Kamenetzki Shlit’a. His first reaction was that we anyway thank Hashem at least three times every day for all the constant gifts and great chassodim He grants us daily. Then the Rosh Hayeshiva publicly addressed this shaila and he expressed that the greatest thanks a person can give to Hashem for the year that came to an end, is his concern and dedication to better himself and return to Him, performing teshuva shleima, and fixing what wrong was done during that time. That is indeed the main purpose of the Yemei Ratzon.”
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is similar.
We also mentioned on one occasion that “the Baal Haturim (Parshas Tzav), Shita Mekubetzes (Menachos 79b) and others maintain that the Korbon Todah brought for giving thanks to Hashem on special occasions, is not an obligatory korban. It could well be that the reason behind it is that expressing gratitude, by definition has to be voluntary and emerge from one’s heart. Being obliged to say thank you, diminishes the act. Poskim mention that this is a reason why we don’t educate children to recite birchas hagomel, as we do with most other brochos. Therefore, a person has to thank Hashem by his own will and inspiration at the end of the year.”
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a