Think & Reflect:    

Is Thanksgiving a Jewish holiday?  Not – it is for all of us in the US but did you know that the Hebrew word for Jews, “Yehudim”, literally means “the grateful ones”.  Being grateful is who we are! A few more Hebrew words:   Hakarat HaTov – “recognizing the good”.  It is about everyone who helps us, whether we need it or not. It is about acknowledging the good around us and being happy with all we have.  From Pirke Avot:  Who is rich? One who is happy with what they have.  Another word Hoda’ah – meaning gratitude and thanking someone for something we could not have done on our own.  Thank you in Hebrew is “Todah” which means “to admit” we couldn’t have done it alone.  Being thankful is not just for Thanksgiving but it is a good time to spend time thinking about what we have to be grateful for!

       Now we have a month to relax and truly enjoy Shabbat!! Thomas Cahill in “The Gift of the Jews” listed Shabbat as one of the best gifts to the world – a concept of a day of rest.  Therefore, let us take this gift and really explore how to make this day special.

Questions to Ponder

Is it easy or challenging to realize how much we have to be thankful for?  Why do you think it is so good for your health to show gratitude (all the recent studies point to the importance)?

Do & Share and A Challenge for a Week (or Longer)

This one is especially for Thanksgiving – MAKE IT JEWISH WITH A BLESSING! Of course, say a blessing over the food but also this is the perfect time for the Shehecheyanu which thanks G-d for bringing us to this moment in time!!

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam, Shehecheyanu v’kiyemanu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh. Blessed are You, O Lord Our G-d, King of the Universe Who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this time.

     And, of course, go around the table sharing what you are thankful for – this is great for every family time but especially Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Laura Seymour | Camp Director Emeritus | Jewish Experiential Learning Director
Have Questions? Email Lseymour@jccdallas.org