Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

So I'm writing this from my parents' house in Centerville, on Cape Cod. E is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Last minute details are being taken care of. My wife's on the phone with her best friend in California. It's a quiet day, after quite a month, exhausting really. I've been trying to do the math: between Superstorm Sandy and the relief efforts that followed, the election, Operation Pillar of Defense and the ceasefire that went into effect only yesterday. Closer to home, Marisa had a show, E has been better adjusting to school, we've had a ton of special services, social action projects large and small, including our wonderful annual IFSAC program, and I've been on the phone with two congregants, one who's parent has passed, another who's husband is in hospice as we speak.

It's hard to think of this day without sinking into pablum; and after this  post, is there really anything else to say in gratitude? And yet, our tradition reminds us of the importance of offering thanks. We speak words of thanks at every time we recite the Amidah (Modim Anachnu Lach--We Thank You). We are reminded in the Torah to offer thanks repeatedly, from the food we eat, to life and health, to our presence in the Land. We are reminded to pray for--and be grateful for--peace.

So with that in mind, and without belaboring the point, we give thanks for all we have and all who are in our lives. Most importantly, in the words of Elder William Brewster from that first Thanksgiving in 1621:

 "We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety...We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for Freedom and Justice." 

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