Monthly Message fron our President
Even though Thanksgiving is still weeks away, it’s not too early to think about all that we are grateful for. Our family has a particularly poignant story about being grateful and Thanksgiving.
My mother-in-law was a teenager when her family had to hurriedly leave Germany immediately after Kristallnacht. They considered themselves fortunate to have all gotten out, even though they were able to take almost nothing with them. They were on a German boat, headed to the U.S., and so were technically still on German soil. It wasn’t until they got to New York and saw the Statue of Liberty that they knew they had actually sailed to the United States. But the timing was awkward: they had arrived the evening of Thanksgiving and there were no workers at the dock. So everyone had to stay aboard the ship. A Thanksgiving dinner was brought aboard for all to enjoy. And this is how the family first celebrated this uniquely American holiday.
Our family recounts this story every year at Thanksgiving before we go around the table allowing anyone who wishes to say what they’re grateful for. I’m going to suggest that you try something between now and Thanksgiving. Put a piece of paper on your refrigerator, and each day have someone in your family write something on that paper that they are grateful for. At Thanksgiving, share what is on the paper.
I came across this Thanksgiving Prayer, written by Rabbi Naomi Levy and wanted to share it with you.
A Thanksgiving Prayer
By Rabbi Naomi Levy
For the laughter of the children,
For my own life breath,
For the abundance of food on this table,
For the ones who prepared this sumptuous feast,
For the roof over our heads,
The clothes on our backs,
For our health,
And our wealth of blessings,
For this opportunity to celebrate with family and friends,
For the freedom to pray these words
In any language,
In any faith,
In this great country,
Whose landscape is as vast and beautiful as her inhabitants.
Thank You, God, for giving us all these. Amen.