Dec 2, 2008

A Prayer for Thanksgiving 2008: "Reaching for Gratitude"

A Prayer for Thanksgiving 2008: "Reaching for Gratitude"
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

praying for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma, Rivka bat Yehudit, Moshe
Tzvi be Rivka, and many, many others

Dear God:

On a day in which the needs of the world have suddenly gained urgency
yet again, in which the internal sense of stability in our country is
increasingly fragile, we turn to You.

Today is a day for invoking gratitude. But today, when we sit at the
table with cherished friends and family, and when we might watch some
TV, we will flip between football, the Macy's Day Parade, and Mumbai.
What is the right language for expressing gratitude today?

Dear God, for this may we be grateful:
-for our homes, God, for our homes.
-for this very meal, the fact that we have food to eat.
-for the presence of loved ones sharing this holiday, and for the
precious memories of those who do not.
-for the conscience we bear, which never ignores the needs of the world.

Dear God, on this day on which we both mark and witness history, we
are deeply grateful for the enduring dream of peace we share. The
world may demand much of us, but we are grateful in the most profound
of ways for the strength You give us to both encounter love and wield
it in a world that thirsts for it, demands it, more and more.

May those with harm and fear in their hearts and with weapons in their
hands and with hatred in their souls be defeated. May those who are
part of a culture of terror and yet have the capacity for remorse, for
Teshuvah, be exposed to this sense of what a healthy world demands and
change their ways.

May Rivka and Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg (Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma
veRivka bat Yehudit), their son Moshe Tzvi, and everyone affected by
the tragedy, emerge safe from this traumatic experience.

May tomorrow find our families and everyone else healthy and secure.
May we hear good tidings about those in trouble today.

May gratitude be the on the news tomorrow.

Thank You, God, for blessing us with this dream for peace, today and
every day.


Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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Chag Sukkot Sameach, dear friends.