November 25, 2020
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to encourage us to really take time to give thanks. 2020 has not turned out to be anything like anyone imagined. Our lives were turned upside down and inside out. Tragically some people struggled seriously with the virus, and, yes, some of our loved ones even died this year. Jobs were at jeopardy for some while others worked overtime to keep up with new technology and demand. Life became harder as we were restricted and confined to our homes. Our government began to control the basic aspects of our daily life. At the moment in America there is a dispute over who has done the election. Anarchy and riots took to the streets of our cities this year. What is there to be thankful about in the midst of all the chaos that is going on in our world today, Rabbi Carol?
Our daughter, Abigail, loves to tell a story of Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom. When they arrived at the concentration camp, Betsie tried to encourage Corrie to be thankful even in the concentration camp. She walked Corrie through thanking G-d for everything around them – the crowded room they lived in, the Bible in their hands, the mere pittance of food, and the fleas. When Betsie came to the fleas, Corrie insisted there was no way she was going to thank Adonai for fleas. Betsie gently encouraged her sister that they must give thanks to Adonai in all circumstances as the Bible said and yes that even meant the fleas. Life went on in the camp. They worshipped in their barracks and had Bible studies and were never bothered by the guards. They didn’t understand why until one day Betsie and a group of women asked a guard to come into to help them with something and the guard and his captain refused because of the fleas. Betsie glowed as she shared this news with Corrie. Adonai had use the fleas to protect them from the guards interrupting their worship and Bible study.
Like Betsie and Corrie, we must learn to give thanks to G-d in every situation, yes even in 2020. As you look to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, reflect on who G-d is and all that He has done in your life. He loves you and gave His son Yeshua to die for you. As we say at Passover, Dayenu. That would be enough to give thanks for, but if you and I take the time there is so much more that we could express gratitude for. Take the time to talk to G-d and thank him for 2020. Thank Him for all that has happened even in you don’t understand it. Thank Him most importantly for being the one who has sustained you throughout this year.
Rabbi Michael and I love you and we wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.