As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are profoundly thankful for all our blessings and yet when we realize that there is significant hunger in our world, we realize that we cannot be fullythankful unless we do our share to alleviate the poverty in our world. I hope that during this Holiday season, we will seek places to donate food, help provide Holiday meals, and think about those who are in need.
The following was written by Albert Einstein:
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other, above all, for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.
May we find meaningful ways to connect with those who have less than we do and provide for those whose well being depends upon our kindness. We have numerous opportunities to reach out and touch people over this Holiday period. The following prayer is an inspiration for social action and caring. May its words motivate us to perform acts of tikkun or healing.
Social Action – Jack Riemer (adapted)
We cannot merely pray to God to end war;
For the world was made in such a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with out neighbor.
We cannot merely pray to God to root out prejudice;
For we already have eyes
With which to see the good in all people
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to God to end starvation;
For we already have the resources
With which to feed the entire world
If we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to God to end despair;
For we already have the power
To clear away slums and to give hope
If we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to God to end disease:
For we already have great minds
With which to search out cures and healings
If we would only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray instead
For strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of merely pray
To become instead of merely wish;
That our world may be safe,
And that our lives may be blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Bruce Aft