Nov 22 2018 Dvar Torah

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Rabbi Robert Eisen

FOR WHAT SHOULD WE GIVE THANKS?

What are some of the things for which you will give thanks in the spirit of the American holiday of Thanksgiving? I know that for some it will only be that they have something to complain about! However, for all of us this “pause” can provide an opportunity to refocus on what is important in life so that we can make our own that much more meaningful and significant. Where can/should we begin to look? Consider the following (adapted from a list I found on a church leader’s website … but that is another story for another time):

• If you were born in a free country, thank God.
• If you were born to parents who loved you and provided for you, thank God (and thank them).
• If you enjoyed growing up with siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, thank God.
• If someone changed your diapers, thank God.
• If someone woke up with you in the middle of the night to feed and hold you, thank God.
• If someone cared for you when you were sick, thank God.
• If someone read to you and played with you, thank God.
• If someone taught you how to crawl, walk and ride a bike, thank God.
• For diseases, disorders or cancers you’ve never had, thank God.
• For diseases, disorders or cancers you’ve had and overcome, thank God.
• If you’ve never woken up in a war zone, thank God.
• If you’ve never hid for your life, thank God.
• If people you don’t know (and some you do) fight to protect your freedom, thank God.
• If you have running water in your home, thank God.
• If that water is clean (hasn’t made you sick or killed you), thank God.
• If you can take a hot shower whenever you want, thank God.
• If you have indoor plumbing, thank God.
• Thank God for electricity.
• If you breathe fresh air, thank God.
• If you can heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer, thank God.
• If people regularly come to your house and take away your trash, thank God.
• Remember as many elementary teachers as you can and thank God.
• Remember as many middle/high school teachers and coaches as you can and thank God.
• Remember as many college professors and professional mentors as you can and thank God.
• For every time you made it to graduation, thank God.
• If you’ve ever enjoyed laughing with a friend, thank God.
• If you’ve ever had someone hold you while you cried, thank God.
• If you’ve ever had a friend unexpectedly meet a need, thank God.
• If you’ve ever had someone tell you they love you, thank God.
• If you’ve ever had a job, thank God.
• If you have a favorite book, movie, show, artist, song, painting, etc., thank God.
• If you enjoy your pets, thank God.
• If you have a soft bed, thank God.
• Thank God for all the natural beauty available in the place you live.
• If you enjoy regular times of rest and relaxation, thank God.
• If you have time for hobbies and games, thank God.
• If you have people with whom you enjoy spending your free time, thank God.

We may not have scored 100% on the entire list. However, I would venture to guess that most of us “did pretty well.”

The truth is: We all have much for which to give thanks… even if it just one of these things.

The question is: Will we take the time to, not say so, but, rather: TO DO SO?

A Happy Thanksgiving … A SHABBAT SHALOM!