Haverim –

A thought about Thanksgiving, Rosh Hodesh, and everyday gratitude:

Each day begins with a prayer of thanks – modeh ani l’fanekha – I give thanks before You. The full line is worth reciting –

מודֶה [מודָה] אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ:

Modeh/ah ani l’fanekha, melekh hai v’kayam, she’he’hezarta bi nishmati b’hemla, raba emunatekha.

I thank You, living and eternal sovereign, for Your kindness in restoring my soul. How great is Your faithfulness.

Our tradition teaches us to express gratitude daily, not only today. And underlying that thankfulness is the recognition of God’s kindness, continually shared with us. God, says our daily opening prayer, believes in us (!) and therefore keeps the flow of goodness coming always.

Today, Thanksgiving and Rosh Hodesh, offers us another piece of prayer, part of Hallel.

הוֹדוּ לַיהֹוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ:

Hodu ladonai ki tov, ki l’olam hasdo

Give thanks to Adonai who is good,

God’s love and kindness endure forever.

God’s love; forever; give thanks – those are the operative categories.

We gather today to do just that – to recognize the goodness and love that continue to flow and to thank one another and the One who created us for all of it. That goodness brings us all of the food that we’ll eat today; that goodness connects us to another; that goodness keeps us all alive. Time to give thanks.

Wishing you and yours a joyful and gratitude filled Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving and Hodesh Tov.

Rabbi David