When I was a child, I remember Thanksgiving being a one day holiday - maybe two if you count that I did not have to go to school on Friday also. Now it seems that Thanksgiving has become a week-long celebration that begins earlier. I know that my family is gathering at my parents' house this coming Sunday evening for Thanksgiving and then on Thursday we will go to Sara's parents for another family Thanksgiving celebration. It is nice to have many Thanksgiving celebrations and I like that we can now spread them out over the entire week - if we can.
Being grateful and showing our appreciation are key Jewish values and seen throughout our liturgy. Tonight, right after we sing L'cha Dodi, we will recite the Psalm for Shabbat that begins with the words - "Tov L'Hodot LaAdonai - it is good to give thanks to God". This verse reminds us that expressing appreciation is not only the right thing to do, or the polite thing to do, but it is also good - it makes me better and helps me in countless ways.
As we go into Thanksgiving week, as we prepare for our own Thanksgiving celebrations, I want us all to pause to express our gratitude for something important in our lives - or someone important in our lives. Let's take the time this week to feel the gratitude and to express the gratitude to others. I know of families that spend time at their Thanksgiving meal going around the table and sharing personal words of gratitude - and not just to the one who cooked the meal.
To help inspire us to think of personal ways to express our gratitude this week, I want to share this video with all of you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uzynHWxn5Q.
On behalf of everyone at The Jewish Center, I want to thank you for being part of our TJC family, for your participation in our programs, services and events, for your volunteer time and financial support and for everything else you do for us. I am grateful to be your Rabbi and to be a part of your life. Thank you for all you do for me and for TJC.
Tov L'Hodot - It feels good to say Thank you.
Rabbi Adam Feldman