It's the day to give thanks...again. I always say that I don't need a special day to give thanks, as I make it part of my everyday conversation with HaShem. I don't ever want to take anything or anyone for granted, for I never know when things can change forever.
One of my besties absolutely LOVES this day. She can tell me over and over how she loves to cook all the traditional food - in fact, I have her tell me why it excites her on purpose as a way to encourage me to get my attitude in the right place. I know it's not just the food for her, though; her family is very important to her and she loves to see them happy and gathered around.
(Happy Thanksgiving, Netanya! I love you!)
On my social utility of choice, thanksgiving greetings are overflowing. Don't cynically tell me that people are just into the food and football on Thanksgiving, as I see otherwise online. Greeting after greeting, care shown for those struggling with the holiday and narration of the arrival of family and friends around festively set tables abound. Nearly everyone is commiserating over cooking obligations and cleaning chores all amid gratefulness for people to love. I am convinced that the majority of people can get behind giving thanks for all the blessings we have been afforded in this country.
I read this prayer this morning, and thought it worthy of sharing.
A Jewish Thanksgiving blessingI am very thankful, this day, that I can reach out to someone who is hurting. I can share what I have with someone who is lacking, and I can give a hug to someone who hasn't felt one for far too long. I can chose to forgive, start over and help someone to heal regardless of the circumstances.
by Rabbi David Wolpe
I am not thankful for cruelty.
Not thankful for the small pettiness embroidered in our characters.
I am not grateful, Dear G-d,
for the hunger and hurt that plague us.
I cannot thank you for the ways, large and small,
that we scar our neighbor’s hearts,
Coax tears from angry eyes
Wound those whom we love,
Shame and hurt one another.
But my G-d, my rock, I am so grateful that you taught us to see;
So we can heal the hurt, soothe the pain,
Raise those who are bowed down.
We are thankful for blessings, oh Lord,
but also for the gift of giving blessing.
I am grateful that, right at this moment, I have family around me, friends who are like family and extended friendships all over the world. I am grateful for the memories and lessons of those who are now gone but will always live on in my heart.
I'm grateful for provision from the hand of our LORD, and for the presence of mind to be grateful for what I've been given. But, most of all, I am so very thankful for the compassion and motivation to give of myself and what I have to others who are in need. For that love and compassion can only come from the Holy One, blessed be He.
I am overwhelmingly and eternally grateful.