For many of us I suspect, this Thanksgiving period has lost its innocence. It seems that violence is rampant, fires rage, and the political and moral issues of our day are troubling and dividing people. Add to all of this, the acts of anti-Semitism and hate that we have experienced and that are on the increase. And amidst it all, still we have poverty and hunger and so many people who yearn for so much that we tend to take for granted.

Our response to all of this: Join us this Sunday, November 18th for a number of important events where we will give expression to our yearnings for ourselves and our society.

On Sunday morning we will come together for MITZVAH DAY—a day of reaching beyond the walls of our temple toward literally thousands of people.

And then a special program for our EMPTY NESTER population at 11:30am: Especially at this time of strife between Israel and Hamas, our speakers from Project Rosana will speak of efforts by Israeli and Palestinian medical teams to bring healing and trust to those in need.

And in the afternoon, we will hold our annual INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE, this year at the Bedford Presbyterian Church at 4pm. The service will convey the hopeful spirit of this time of year: opening our hearts to feel gratitude for our blessings, and to affirm our connection to the larger community through the values and ideals that we share.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am reminded of a teaching from our sages: “Pray as if everything depends upon God. But act as though everything depends upon you.” So may our efforts this Sunday lead us to realize that we are called upon to be “God’s angels” in causing hate, greed and self-absorption to be replaced with heartfelt acts of loving-kindness towards those who yearn for sustenance, dignity and freedom.

Together, let us make this a meaningful and kind Thanksgiving by reaching beyond ourselves to bring a touch of goodness and hope to our society. From my home to yours, I wish you and your loved ones a rich and inspiring Thanksgiving.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David Greenberg