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Reb Lisa's Message

November 24, 2021

HODU! Let's Give Thanks!

And...Chag Hanukkah Sameach!

The Hebrew word for Jew is Yehudi, which is connected to the Hebrew word for thanks and gratitude: hoda'ah. Essentially we could say that as Jews, we are a "Thanking People!" Gratitude is central to our way of being in the world.

This week we merge our Jewish selves as “Ones who Thank”, with the secular American calendar. Thanksgiving is tomorrow. This opens us to a heightened time of being aware of what we are thankful for.

Additionally, the Hebrew calendar intersects, as it sometimes does, during this Thanksgiving weekend, with the beginning of Hanukkah on Sunday night. As Rabbi Julie taught us last Saturday night, Hanukkah is a complex holiday, revealing many levels of meaning. To name just a few: light and dark, religious freedom, rededication (of the Temple), community, might and power, rebellion, assimilation, courage to express who we are.

May we be present for all Thanksgiving and Hanukkah bring us, especially when they come together! May we feel the depth of our gratitude, and express it openly. May we shine our light prominently, from our windows and homes. Happy Thanksgiving and Chag Hanukkah Sameach!

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