The Rabbi’s Weekly Commentary-November 18, 2023
It is almost time to give thanks – for friends, for family, for love and life and choice, for the freedom we have or had, to worship as we choose, to eat clean food, breathe clean air, drink clean water, to love, to celebrate. We do not want to lose that right. It has been fought for by the blood of millions. It is never too late to give thanks and elevate the souls and spirits of those who came before.
We should not have to wait to do this. We should take a mere moment every day to express some gratitude for one thing in our lives. We all have so much to be thankful and grateful for.
Thanksgiving should be a natural reaction to the world’s beauty, life, and love.
I recently read that many are very unhappy with the concept of Thanksgiving as a tradition and that it really celebrates genocide and American imperialism, that it glorifies racial violence and slavery. I never got that memo, but maybe my teachers weren’t as aware as now, but I like the family, friends, and thanks version better. I like how the pilgrims came in their search for religious freedom and found and made friends with the native population.
I’m sure not everyone was a saint, but I like to believe in the deep-down desire of man to be good and honorable and not always with hate and hurt in his heart. It is a small world that we share; we are all the same and part of the same whole. In a world of hate and division, the opportunity to give thanks should appeal to all, and we should all also give thanks that the hostages are still alive – we hope and pray they will be free sooner, not later.
There is a barbarian at the gate, and we should all give thanks that Israel stands between it and the fall of civilization, for that is the goal of these maniacs – the end of Western civilization. It has been tried before, but it does not succeed.
This week we celebrate the birthday of a great sage – Baruch ben Mordechai and this week we read one of the great origin stories of the Bible – one that still ripples through time. This reading is about two children – who represent the ultimate in sibling rivalry and the historical and generational destructive effects of parents on their children.
This week, we learn about the birth of the twins Esau and Jacob and get a look at what it would have been like to have been in Delphi hundreds of years later at the great oracle; and we read about the famous sale of the birthright and the deception of Isaac and stolen blessing, and we see the steps one son takes to earn the love of his parents.
This is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible that ripples through time and space – going backward to Cain and Abel and forward through the patriarch years to the sons of kings and prophets, touching on some of the great rivalries still echoing today and it captures the fabric of family relations – parent against parent; sibling against sibling; husband against wife.
It is an origin story of rivalry – and the only way it can end – someone has to rise above it – and someone will. Maybe it is you.
This is the story of rights, of deceptions, of the initiation of karma, of jealousy, of parental love and choice, of want and need, of fear, of the age-old scream of sibling antipathy.
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Be well, be happy, be healthy, be free, be kind, be forgiving, be compassionate, be independent of mind and deed, be mindful of your intentions, and be good to yourself. Continue to celebrate freedom of choice in your life, do not give in to fear, and enjoy the peace that comes from acceptance – as always – if you have any questions or suggestions or want to say “hi,” please send me an email. I love hearing from you.
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Enjoy and celebrate your life and the lives of others, and in doing so, be safe my friends, be happy and may you all sow the seeds of and reap the rewards of peace and love and miracles, and make sure you also celebrate your unique individuality and your incredible awesomeness.
And remember – your world is what you make it. Just wish upon a star and continue to be the miracle in someone’s life.
Respecting our past. Putting faith in your future