“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
Those of us in the “States” will be celebrating Thanksgiving, this coming week, while our “sisters” in Canada have already celebrated their Thanksgiving in October. Regardless of when our “official” day of “Thanks” is celebrated, it gives all of us a time, to stop, to think about our lives, our family and friends, to look around our homes, our synagogues and our communities and be grateful.
When we see and hear what is happening in our world, the poverty, the murders, the injustices, the lack of freedom and the hunger…we MUST stop, not just on our Thanksgiving Day, but everyday! As we rise every morning, and as it is part of our tradition, to recite Birkhot Ha-Shahar…the prayers that help us to direct our thoughts to God and to show that we are grateful for the daily renewal of our lives.
So, are we begin our preparations for Shabbat today, and for those that are celebrating Thanksgiving…take one moment…stop…look around…think of our blessings, our freedom, our families (whether by virtue of birth or the family that we choose), our ability to worship, the friendships that we have cultivated through our work for WLCJ and the Conservative movement, and that we have the choice to be able to live by these words everyday.
Everyday, we should be so thankful for our health, for our ability to get up and do our sacred work together. I usually don’t share a personal loss, as unfortunately I have heard of too many in the past few weeks, however, this week, was an exceptionally sad one for me, BQLI and WLCJ….we lost a dear sister, a dear friend, a mentor to so many. We lost a beautiful soul, who always was smiling, striving to do her best…Molly Chernofsky, past BQLI Region president and our WLCJ Recording Secretary lost her too short battle with cancer. Molly has left a whole, in our lives and hearts. May her memory be for a blessing.
Give those around you a hug…be grateful for whatever you have!
Wishing you each a meaningful and peaceful Shabbat…