The Jewish practice of beginning holy days at sunset is ingrained: I feel like this is Erev Thanksgiving. And, as distinct from the day, which is often involved with major cooking, I find this Erev Thanksgiving contemplative. I am thinking of the things that I appreciate so much about living in this country---
- the great natural beauty surrounding me
- the animals who live with me, and those that visit (even the bear)
- the wonderful variety of people/languages/races/religions that delight our senses, stretch our minds and open our hearts
- the chances I've had to learn so much---often from people whose views differ from mine
- this house, that carries so many memories of my beloved, of family, of the community and friends who made it possible to live here, and those who appeared to help after the flood
- music, and musicians
- so many chances to learn
- the refuge that this country gave to my maternal great-grandparents, fleeing pogroms in Russia, and my father's family, fleeing Nazi Germany
My prayers this Thanksgiving are for guidance: how to protect and preserve all that is good here; how to keep an open ear and heart to those whose pain is such that they would destroy it all.
I ask for the blessings and the guidance we need, and also that which we don't even know we need.