CLERGY CORNER: Thanks for Giving

Posted on 23 November 2011 by LeslieM

L’Chu N’Ranena from the Book of Psalms begins with “Let us sing unto G-d.” But, it does not say to sing the Blues. No, it says that we should “sing unto G-d in joy.”

What an interesting thing to be commanded to feel joy. What if you are not feeling so happy? What if you have been having a bad day, a bad week or a bad year?

Well, I guess we need to read further because the next part of the Psalm tells us how to lift our spirits. It tells us to approach G-d with praise and Thanksgiving. You heard me right, we are to approach not with a list of requests each of which remind us of what we feel we lack, but rather with a list of the things that we have.

So here we are with the Great American Festival of Thanksgiving and I would ask each of you to think of what you are thankful for. I know many people will sit with family and friends to a scrumptious turkey dinner and they will go around the table and each will get an opportunity to say that they are thankful for this or that, but what of those who can’t seem to think of anything to be thankful for?

Well, if nothing else, on Thanksgiving Day, at least, be thankful that you are not a TURKEY!

Those of you who read my column regularly know that I love to dance. I even help teach beginning students in the Adult Education Program. In recent classes, we had a wonderful couple, newly married, and, watching them, I saw in their every action, their every glance at one another, that they were filled with joy; they were so thankful that they had found each other. They know that there are many people who go through life without ever finding that special match that lights them up like the brightest of Shabbat Candles.

We recently read about the first matchmaker in the Bible. His name was Eliezer, the trusted servant of Abraham who was sent on a mission to find a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. He could have gone looking for the wealthiest woman in the land, but he chose to look for someone who was kind, caring and gentle. Okay, it didn’t hurt that she also happened to be gorgeous. But remember, the woman he chose was kind and caring before she ever met her husband.

If you are not married yet, if you are looking for a partner in life, I would urge you to start being kinder and more caring right here, right now; it just might lead you to your bashert.

My new friends from dance class know this well. They both spend their days collecting food for those who are hungry. They have blessed so many others and G-d has indeed blessed them and they are ever-so-thankful.

May you each learn to be thankful, not just for what you have, but for what you can give.

If you would like to share in the joy of my newlywed friends, and, as we will all have a feast on Thanksgiving, consider giving some food or a donation to “Boca Helping Hands” at the Remillard Family Resource Center in Boca Raton. www.bocahelpinghands.org. Or you may choose to give to any of the other fine organizations that help feed the hungry, and may I be the first to say, “THANKS!”

 

Shalom My Friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

 

Rabbi Ezring is a Hospice Chaplain and Member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. He also provides Professional Pastoral Care Services to a number of health centers in Broward County.

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