There is a joke that has been circulating for years which now appears on an e-card.
Thanksgiving, no problem, I do this every Friday. Jewish Mommas around the globe are so in the habit of preparing at least 2 feasts a week for family and friends, that we find it amusing when the rest of the Thanksgiving celebrators are overwhelmed by it.
This point can be extended to the actual “giving of thanks” part the holiday as well. It encapsulates why I love the prayers that I have become so accustomed to saying throughout the day.
We start off before we even open our eyes every morning thanking G-d for returning our souls into our bodies. Then we proceed to thank G-d for the brilliant way he constructed us with a system that keeps what it needs and disposes of the rest.
We thank Him for sanctifying us with the Torah and the Mitzvot that are to better our lives.
We thank G-d for our vision, our clothing, our dignity, filling all our needs, strength, vigor, splendor…and the list goes on and on. All of this in the morning services before we start the day.
Then, throughout the day, before and after every morsel of food and any liquid touches our lips, we acknowledge and give thanks to G-d. We smell a wonderful new fragrance, we give thanks.We buy a special purchase, we give thanks. We have our lives saved, we give thanks, and the list continues. These are ordained blessings that inculcate in us appreciation and value for absolutely everything. It makes us aware and grateful of things that could so easily be taken for granted.
Thanksgiving is something that has been ingrained in us as soon as we learn to speak. The first songs we sing are ones of thanksgiving.
We are Jews from the lineage of Yehuda, whose very name is a thanksgiving to G-d. It was this element what made his name worthy of representing our nation. It is our origin, our legacy, and our glory.
Every time we give thanks we bring more goodwill and warmth into the world. The world aches and hungers for it.
So go on, no need to wait for this once a year opportunity. Invite family and friends, make a feast and most importantly count your blessings. There are so many. Enjoy.