Student Rabbi’s Blog

November 2017: What Are You Thankful For?

I’m well-known in my communities as someone who champions the observance of Jewish holidays, almost to the exclusion of most American Cultural Holidays. Halloween, simply put, is not my thing. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is my fave. There is something deeply Jewish about my favorite American holiday. We gather with our families (check), we eat lots of food (double check), and we reflect on our lives and our place in the world (check again). Experiencing Thanksgiving, for me, is the way I connect my American identity with my Jewish identity. In Judaism we are commanded to remember the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and to be grateful, to be thankful for our portion in this world.

I have room in my heart for many holidays, after all Judaism has a holiday every week. Thanksgiving is right up there with all of the Jewish holidays I hold so dear, and so I say from me and mine to you and yours, Chodesh Tov and Thanksgiving Sameach (Happy Thanksgiving)!

Student Rabbi

Samuel A. Stern, MAJCS