Thanksgiving Reflection

  • November 28, 2013

    Dear haverim,


    I share with you the following reflection for your Thanksgiving table.  May

    the message of appreciation that is expressed throughout the day of

    Thanksgiving also be reflected in the flickering lights we kindle this evening

    on the second night of Hanukkah.


    Prayer of an Unknown Confederate soldier


    I asked God for power so that I might achieve.

    Instead, I was made weak so that I might learn.


    I asked God for health so that I might do great things.

    He gave me infirmity so that I might do good things.


    I asked God for riches so that I could be happy.

    Instead, He gave me happiness so that I could be rich.


    I asked God for fame so that I might have the admiration of men.

    Instead, I was given anonymity so that I could know the need for others.


    I asked God for all things so that I might enjoy life.

    Instead, I was given life so that I could enjoy all things.


    I got nothing that I asked God for,

    But, instead I got everything that I needed.


    And, therefore, I am most truly blessed.


    Dear God,


    We can be so immature with our requests directed toward You.  We are,

    often unable to discern what we really need in our quest for life and meaning.

    Beyond parades, football games, family gatherings, and overflowing tables,

    our American holiday, Thanksgiving is all about learning to appreciate our



    The most meaningful blessing is the gift of giving- learning how to put a smile on

    the face of a needy child, learning how to care for a destitute mother with her

    children.  Our Jewish tradition teaches us to respond, as did our prophets when

    they responded to God’s call with “Hineni- Here I am.  Send me, God!”


    May each of us learn to heed that call, joining hand in hand to banish all

    poverty, deficiency, and indigence in our world.  May the overindulgence that

    so often defines our Thanksgiving tables be replaced by a greater level of

    sensitivity and responsiveness to the plight of our fellow human beings who

    need us.