Of all American holidays, Thanksgiving is at the top of my list. It’s a day where every person can connect – regardless of their background, ethnicity, or political party. The concept of giving thanks, in Jewish tradition, is one that is celebrated and recognized throughout our liturgy. But I’ve found in life that it is not always easy to give thanks. There are days when you wake up and don’t feel very thankful for anything. There are days that are overcast with life’s challenges and our community’s problems. The natural feeling that a person has is to be resentful and dismayed, if not depressed.
I strongly believe that giving thanks is a lot more than just a particular holiday on the calendar. It is a way of living. It is a way of looking at life with the glass half full. It is a way of celebrating one’s accomplishments, no matter how few or far between. Thanks-giving is a state of mind. It is an understanding that we are here in the world as a gift, and we have something to contribute to it. Even on the days when we are challenged, where we are in the height of the pandemic – we can each find our place to give thanks, and to recognize the greatness of other people and the unlimited kindness of our Creator.
So this Thanksgiving, our family is particularly grateful for the miracles G-D has bestowed upon us during a time of upheaval and the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. We’re thankful to be alive, and we’re thankful for our friends and family and community. We are thankful to G-D, for showing us that even at the greatest moments of despair, there is hope – and there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
Ultimately, we are so grateful for the ability to recognize and give thanks.
About Cantor Benny
Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky serves as Cantor of the prestigious Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Cantor Benny has lectured widely on Cantorial music and its application to prayer. He has taught and guided many of today's well-known cantors. He is involved at the leadership level in many charitable organizations with a unique flair for organization and implementation of community projects. Cantor Benny is one of the founders of FrumDivorce, a community-support organization, dedicated to supporting members of the religious community, who are going through the divorce process, with a specific focus on parenting and guidance on how to deal with the emotional fallout of separation and divorce.
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