“The name Jew comes from the name Yehuda. The root of Yehuda is from l’hodot, which means ‘to thank’. We Jews are quite literally, ‘the thankers’. But l’hodot can also mean ‘to admit.’
What is the connection between thanking and admitting? To the extent that I can admit that I really didn’t deserve something, to that same extent will I say ‘thank you.’
The job of the Jewish people in this world is to testify that there is a G-d. As the prophet, Yishiyau writes, ‘You are my witnesses.’ So if our job is to be witnesses, why are we called the Jews – ‘the thankers’ or ‘the admitters’?
The answer is that if you don’t feel that life is one enormous present, you will never see G-d. But if you see the gift, you can see the giver.”