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"Thanksgiving"

12/01/2023 05:25:52 AM

Dec1

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 now ask related questions: How can we celebrate Thanksgiving when 240 of our fellow Jews – children, toddlers, babies! – are held hostage by terrorists capable of utter barbarity? How can we enjoy the blessing of abundance when so many families have experienced the concussive shock of devastating bereavement? How can we celebrate this great American holiday when anti-Jewish hate crimes have increased throughout our land? How can we express gratitude when the Jewish state is at war?

These are important questions, but the answer is: we must. Fully aware of our people’s serious and vexing problems, we nonetheless do our best to express gratitude. We summon the strength to celebrate Thanksgiving this week just we summoned the strength to celebrate Simchat Torah on the very evening of October 7. Even during fretful times, friends, we – as Americans and as Jews – express
our gratitude and celebrate our blessings.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Thanksgiving,

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill

November 22, 2023

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784