Question: Is it correct to say the Modeh Ani (the prayer of thanks traditionally said immediately upon rising in the morning) every morning even if you don’t mean it? In other words, is it right to say it if you really wish you were dead and G-d had kept your soul with H-m.
Answer: Great question. I once heard that a great Rabbi emerged from the concentration camps after his entire family was killed and he confronted his first Yom Kippur after liberation. He turned to the others in what was now a displaced-persons camp and asked what sin could there possibly be for them to confess?! He turned to the group and proclaimed that there is one sin of which they are all guilty. Each one knows that there were mornings when they were jealous of the ones who did not wake up. Given the preciousness of each moment of G-d-given life that is the sin which they must confess. It is a sobering thought when we live in a world plagued by so much meaninglessness that many, many people cannot figure out why they are alive.In any event, yes, you should say Modeh Ani and try to concentrate on the potential that each day offers. If that is hard for you, then perhaps you might wish to say Modeh Ani for someone else that you care about. That would mean ‘I thank you Hashem for restoring the soul of __ in your compassion and great faithfulness’. That might be an easier way to step on the road of celebrating life.