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Thanksgiving: We Celebrate During Fretful Times

11/17/2022 04:05:44 PM

Nov17

Rabbi Weill

Dear Friends,

“How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4).  The Israelite’s asked this question during their Babylonian captivity. How could they celebrate during a time of sadness, duress, and alienation from their homeland?

We might ask a related question: “How shall we celebrate Thanksgiving in our own troubled land?”

How will we sit joyfully, enjoying the blessing of abundance during a time of horrific gun violence, rising hatred against Jews, and dispiriting cynicism?

It is a fair question, but the answer is: we just do and we must. Fully aware of our problems and worries, as Jews and as Americans, we nonetheless gather make our very best effort to express gratitude. (I write this fully aware of the pain of our fellow Americans, whose loved ones – young people! – have recently been killed by guns).

I especially look forward to our hosting the annual Niles Township Clergy Forum Thanksgiving Service next Tuesday, November 22, at 7:30 pm, here at Ezra-Habonim, Niles Township. Come in person or on Zoom (link below.) We will enjoy the music of a children’s choir, Cantor Gale, and Koleinu. Mayor George Van Dusen will offer remarks and Jessica Schaffer, director of HIAS-Chicago, will speak. The theme of the evening is Hospitality: Welcoming the Stranger.

Even during anxious times, we celebrate Thanksgiving – together.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784