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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 11/20/2020

I have always loved Thanksgiving. Growing-up, it was a day for the Schulman clan in Long Beach to gather and celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. No one knew the English date of his birth in Russia, so why not celebrate it on the most universal of holidays, a time for family, food, and giving thanks?

In subsequent years, the Ben-Ora mishpocha has celebrated Thanksgiving together. Our family, along with Eve’s mother, her sister and brother, as well as spouses and children have come together for feasting and fun.

But along with millions of Americans across our nation, our Thanksgiving next week will be curtailed by the pandemic. In order to safeguard our health, the Ben-Ora mishpocha will not be gathering but instead following the guidelines of the CDC.

Like so many, I am saddened at experiencing a diminished Thanksgiving.

But let me suggest three ways for us to lift our spirits next week.

First, take the initiative to connect with family and friends. Whether it’s by phone or a video chat, reach out to your loved ones. Not only will you feel better being in touch but those on the receiving end will too.

Second, attend the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service next Monday evening. This service is spiritual medicine for the isolation and fragmentation we are experiencing. Multiple faith communities will join together virtually to celebrate with prayer and song. Advanced registration is required.

Lastly, on Thanksgiving, make time to express gratitude. You may choose to do so in prayer, or writing in a journal, or sharing them aloud with those you are with.

Next Thursday will be unlike previous years. But let us not lose sight of the essence of the holiday: giving thanks for the blessings that fill our lives.

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