One of the things that I love about Thanksgiving is that it reminds us to be grateful for the blessings we have been granted in life. So often, we focus on what is not good in the world around us. So often, we surround ourselves with “bad news” or with a heightened awareness of worrisome situations. And, there is no argument that we should pay attention to the world around us and that we should work to “right wrongs” in our world. But, at the same time, we should also focus on the blessings that surround our existence and on the good things that are a part of our reality. And, that is what I love about Thanksgiving. It brings the blessings back into focus.
The week’s Torah portion, Chayyey Sarah [literally: The Life of Sarah], tells us about the end of Sarah’s life and about the end of Abraham’s life. Yet, the focus is not on the difficulties of their lives. The focus is not on death. Rather, the focus of the Torah portion is on the essential values they bequeathed to us. The focus is on the future they envisioned – a future that remembers both Abraham and Sarah for the good.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the beginning of the new Jewish month of Kislev will be on Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday of this coming week. This means that this year, Rosh Chodesh Kislev and Thanksgiving will coincide making Thursday a doubly festive day!
May we enjoy this Shabbat, our congregation, our community, Rosh Chodesh Kislev and our Thanksgiving celebrations and all that is good in the world around us to the fullest.
And, may we rejoice together, this Shabbat and in the days to come, even as we continue our work to make our world a place of greater and greater blessing for all.
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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