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Thank You or Thankful

Thursday, 26 November, 2015 - 11:12 am


There are those who say we should not celebrate Thanksgiving because “I thank G-d every day”. Others say that while it is true that we thank G-d every day for the good that we have, on Thanksgiving we express gratitude to be able to live in a free country to practice our religion.

There are two ways of expressing gratitude:

1) One takes the time and effort to do something for another amongst one’s responsibilities and obligations or 2) everything one does is for the other.

For example in the case of a marriage;

1)  A husband works and buys flowers for his wife or a wife works and buys a gadget for her husband or 2) he or she works in order to provide for the family; their whole existence is consumed with their love of their spouse.

Those who say we do not need thanksgiving are hopefully so fully consumed with their service of G-d that everything they do is an expression of that love and appreciation to G-d for the freedom that they have here in America. However, even in such a case, it is important to show that gratitude in a more expressed way. Those who work to provide for the family should also occasionally purchase the flowers or gadget for his/her spouse.

We find the same thing with the angels that Jacob sent to Esau. We question whether their motivation was to uplift Esau or was it to fulfill Jacob’s wishes which included uplifting Esau.

When we serve G-d, we need to ask ourselves the same question:

1.    Do we work and use what we have to serve G-d and make the world a better place?
2.    Is our entire existence consumed with serving G-d which includes adding light into the world?

How do you see your relationship with G-d?

Do you give G-d some of your time by learning, praying or doing mitzvot? Or, is G-d an active part of your life that includes learning, praying or doing mitzvot?

Have a good Shabbos and a gratitude stuffed thanksgiving that overflows into the whole year.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


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