Give Thanks and Praises
(יב) אִ֣ם עַל־תּוֹדָה֮ יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ֒ וְהִקְרִ֣יב ׀ עַל־זֶ֣בַח הַתּוֹדָ֗ה חַלּ֤וֹת מַצּוֹת֙ בְּלוּלֹ֣ת בַּשֶּׁ֔מֶן וּרְקִיקֵ֥י מַצּ֖וֹת מְשֻׁחִ֣ים בַּשָּׁ֑מֶן וְסֹ֣לֶת מֻרְבֶּ֔כֶת חַלֹּ֖ת בְּלוּלֹ֥ת בַּשָּֽׁמֶן׃ (יג) עַל־חַלֹּת֙ לֶ֣חֶם חָמֵ֔ץ יַקְרִ֖יב קָרְבָּנ֑וֹ עַל־זֶ֖בַח תּוֹדַ֥ת שְׁלָמָֽיו׃ (יד) וְהִקְרִ֨יב מִמֶּ֤נּוּ אֶחָד֙ מִכָּל־קָרְבָּ֔ן תְּרוּמָ֖ה לַיהוָ֑ה לַכֹּהֵ֗ן הַזֹּרֵ֛ק אֶת־דַּ֥ם הַשְּׁלָמִ֖ים ל֥וֹ יִהְיֶֽה׃ (טו) וּבְשַׂ֗ר זֶ֚בַח תּוֹדַ֣ת שְׁלָמָ֔יו בְּי֥וֹם קָרְבָּנ֖וֹ יֵאָכֵ֑ל לֹֽא־יַנִּ֥יחַ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ עַד־בֹּֽקֶר׃
(12) If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour soaked. (13) With cakes of leavened bread he shall present his offering with the sacrifice of his peace-offerings for thanksgiving. (14) And of it he shall present one out of each offering for a gift unto the LORD; it shall be the priest’s that dasheth the blood of the peace-offerings against the altar. (15) And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

(ד) אמר רבי פנחס: משל למלך, שבאו אריסיו ובני ביתו לכבדו. בא א' וכבדו ואמר: מי הוא זה? אמרו לו: אריסך הוא. אמר להן: טלו סדורו. בא אחר וכבדו ואמר: מי הוא זה? אמרו לו: בן ביתך הוא טלו סדורו. בא אחר ואמר: מי הוא זה? אמרו לו: לא אריסך ולא בן ביתך, אלא בא לכבדך. אמר: יהבו לו סלירא וישב עליה. כך חטאת באה על חטא, ואשם בא על חטא, תורה אינה באה על חטא אם על תודה יקריבנו:

Rabbi Pinchas said: This can be compared to king whose tenants and housemates came to pay tribute. One came to pay tribute, and he asked: Who is this? They told him: He is one of your tenants. He said to them: Take his tribute. Another came to pay tribute, and he said: Who is this? They said to him: A member of your household. Take his tribute. Another came to pay tribute, and he said: Who is this? They said to him: He is neither tenant or member of your household, yet he has come to pay tribute. The king said: Give him a stool and let him sit upon it.

So too, a sin-offering is brought for a sin, a guilt-offering is brought for a sin, but a thanksgiving offering is not brought for a sin, and thus it is written: If it be for a thanksgiving, he will bring near....

(ז) רבי פנחס ורבי לוי ורבי יוחנן בשם ר' מנחם דגליא: לעתיד לבא כל הקרבנות בטלין וקרבן תודה אינו בטל. כל התפלות בטלות ההודאה אינה בטלה, הדא הוא דכתיב (ירמיה לג): קול ששון וקול שמחה קול חתן וקול כלה קול אומרים הודו את ה' צבאות וגו', זו הודאה. ומביאין תודה בית ה', זה קרבן תודה.

Rabbi Pinchas, Rabbi Levi and Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Menachem of the Galilee, "In future times, the observance of the sacrifices will be nullified, with the exception of the Thanksgiving offering which will never be nullified. All of the prayers will be nullified, with the exception of the prayer of gratitude, which will never be nullified. As it is written (Jer. 33:11), 'The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the bride, the voice of them that say, "Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for God's mercy endures forever”--this is the prayer of gratitude. (Jeremiah 33:11): “As they bring offerings of thanksgiving into the house of the Lord”--this is the thanksgiving offering.

(א) אם על תודה יקריבנו. אם על דבר הודאה על נס שנעשה לו, כגון יורדי הים והולכי מדברות וחבושי בית האסורים וחולה שנתרפא שהם צריכין להודות שכתוב בהן (תהלים קז כא כב) יודו לה' חסדו ונפלאותיו לבני אדם ויזבחו זבחי תודה.

If he offer it for a Thanksgiving... If it is for something deserving of thanksgiving, a miracle that happened to him. For example: one who goes down into the sea, or crosses the desert, or who is bound in a jail, or one who is sick and recovers--they must give thanks, as it is written of them (Psalms 107:21-21): Let them praise Adonai for God's steadfast love, God's wondrous deeds for humanity. Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell God's deeds in joyful song.

תנו רבנן הרואה מעברות הים ומעברות הירדן מעברות נחלי ארנון אבני אלגביש במורד בית חורון ואבן שבקש לזרוק עוג מלך הבשן על ישראל ואבן שישב עליה משה בשעה שעשה יהושע מלחמה בעמלק ואשתו של לוט וחומת יריחו שנבלעה במקומה על כולן צריך שיתן הודאה ושבח לפני המקום

Our sages taught: One who sees the crossing of the sea, or the crossing of the Jordan, the crossing of the streams of Arnon, the hailstones of Elgavish on the descent of Beit Horon, the rock that Og, King of Bashan, sought to hurl upon Israel, and the stone on which Moses said when Joshua waged war on Amalek, and Lot's wife, and the wall of Jericho that was swallowed in its place--upon all these, it is necessary to give thanks and praise before God.

Rabbi Naamah Kelman:

The offering of thanksgiving in the form of sacrifice, or later in our tradition in the form of prayer, is the highest expression of gratitude. We praise and we exalt and recognize the miracles of our lives. Deeper gratitude recognizes the simple gift of our lives and the gifts of our daily lives. Our rabbis, ancient and contemporary, are telling us that perhaps this is the practice we must really cultivate: the practice of thanksgiving! But how?

Rabbi Doug Zelden:

There is a beautiful explanation about when the chazzan repeats the Amida aloud and says the Modim prayer and the congregation recites softly a prayer known as 'The Rabbis' Modim.' Why is that? It is because the cantor can recite aloud all the blessings in the Amida and be our agent for such prayers as 'Forgive us,' 'Heal Us,' 'Bless Us with a Good Year,' and so forth. With all our pleas, the cantor or Baal Tfillah can be our public messenger and say the blessing for us, as we answer Amen.

However, there is one thing that no else one can say for us. We must say it for ourselves. That one thing is 'Thank You.' Hoda'ah has to come from ourselves. No one can be our agent to say Thank You.

That is the reason for the 'Rabbis' Modim.'