It’s that time of year when the leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and the excitement of autumn is upon us. Thanksgiving is a holiday where we enjoy family, friends, a warm fire in the fireplace, good food, and perhaps some football. It is often a time when we reflect on all we have to be thankful for and exhibit gratitude for all that is good in our lives.
However, during the day-to-day grind of life, we tend to focus on the deficiencies in our lives. Of course, nobody’s circumstances are perfect, and many of us have struggled, are struggling, or will struggle with painful events such as the loss of a loved one, unemployment or poverty, or illness, to name a few. However, part of G-d’s common grace is that no one’s life is completely devoid of joy. Even in the bleakest moments, there are glimmers of G-d’s love, grace, and goodness waiting to be found. Practicing gratitude helps us recognize what is good in our everyday walk and what is good in the world. It helps us affirm our vision and enjoy life to the fullest. It diminishes resentment and selfishness, and can give us hope through life’s dark chapters.
Thanking G-d is intrinsic in Judaism—there are many Jewish prayers of thanksgiving that can be recited daily. The Thanksgiving holiday reminds us that being grateful for the big and little things we have received is a way of opening our hearts to goodness. Let this time of year remind us to open our lives to G-d and others and to give with love and generosity. In the words of Psalm 100:4: “Let us enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise, give thanks to him and bless his name.” May you have a Thanksgiving full of gratitude and shalom.
This post was written by MJTI Business Manager Joyce Klayman.
For more posts on Thanksgiving, read this post about Thanksgiving in Israel.