Thanksgiving Day is here. It brings fond memories of snuggling up with my Dad to watch the Macy’s parade. I loved to see the balloons pass by; cartoon heroes in 3-D. Today that isn’t such a big deal as 3-D movies are all the rage. But in the early 1960’s it was magic. Even in black and white.
It is great that we have a day as American’s to focus on gratitude. But this is a Jewish concept that is not isolated into one holy day. It is present every day for those of us who pray daily. Modim Anachnu Lach. We thank you God-for all your gifts. This modern adaptation of the Modim prayer by Cantor Jeff Klepper captures that prayer.
But the Jewish person is supposed to say 100 brachot, 100 blessings daily. Not because needs our prayers. Not because we pray to a God with a huge ego. But because we see moments throughout our day when we must focus on gratitude. We give thanks by praising God’s blessings bestowed on us. We thank God for food. For our bodies working. For simply being alive. We thank God for the beauty of the world and creation. We thank God for our loved ones. There is a blessing for everything from seeing a rainbow, to an important government official, to doing an act of social justice. There is a prayer of gratitude even for study.
Today we will all share around our Thanksgiving table what we are most grateful for. You will take a moment to reflect on the many gifts bestowed upon you. But don’t stop today. Give thanks every day. Make every day a Thanksgiving Day. When we are reminded of the many riches we have-perhaps we won’t be in such a frenzy to fill our lives with things we don’t really need.