Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.
This is an interesting year indeed. It seems that each day brings new issues testing us in new and often uncomfortable ways. However, this Thursday is Thanksgiving. Let us take time to celebrate our many blessings. For many of us enjoy a bounty. Try to use this time to gather loved ones, families and friends, and recognize the many reasons you have to be grateful.
Let us also use the time to acknowledge we have a long way to go on the journey to fully realize the values that guide us. For there are too many in our country who do not fully enjoy all of its blessings. This is the time to rededicate our efforts to make this a kinder, gentler and fairer place for all.
A simple Thanksgiving message
I invite us all to take a moment to express gratitude this Thanksgiving Day for the blessings we share.
Eat a lot, watch the parades, watch football, and be with family and friends.
Our country remains among the greatest on earth. We still have much work to do to bring the full blessings of America to all Americans. Now is the time for each of us to figure out what we need to do to make this a reality, to roll up our sleeves and rededicate ourselves to the values that make America great. Perhaps, Black Friday is the day for us to do that. But on Thursday, take the time to enjoy and share with others.
Persistence of Memory-Dali
We turn back the clock this weekend. The extra one hour of sleep isn’t such a big deal, I thought I would be much more excited if we were turning it back by about 20 years. But that is not the case. In fact, trading the past twenty years for the experiences during that time is not something I would do. I like who I have been becoming (I am still a work in progress) and the past twenty years have been an integral part of getting here.
Without those twenty, I likely would not be a rabbi nor would I be married to my wife Naomi, to name just two wonderful things that help define me now. The period was not without struggle and real challenges in all aspects of life, but these challenges also helped to shape me into the person that I am today. Today, I wish perhaps that the ground was not so far away when I drop things, or my arms did not have to be so much longer to read things, or that there was more hair to comb. But the blessings I enjoy I wouldn’t trade for any of those (although the hair makes me briefly pause).
So I come to this Shabbat with a sense of gratitude for what I have and I will use that extra hour to catch up on some sleep after a long workweek and a Saturday night spent with my wife.
I lead Shabbat services for a couple of elder communities in our area. As we welcome Shabbat, I ask the group for what are you grateful this week? For some, the question is more difficult. But finding at least one thing that may have happened, for which we can express gratitude is an expression of hope and joy. Something always wonderful for sure, but even more so during Elul.
What is that thing that happened for you this week for which you can express gratitude?