Thanksgiving celebrates bounty, and offers us the opportunity to express gratitude for the simple pleasures of food, family, and friends. On Thanksgiving, we focus on the happiness of the moment—the table set before us and the faces gathered around it. As we appreciate these gifts, we live in the present without lingering on regrets from the past or worries about the future. Many communities use Thanksgiving as a time for multi-faith services of prayer and thanksgiving. This creates a mood of joyful reverence that gives an elevated shape to the American holiday season.
On Thanksgiving I acknowledge all that I have and pray that we will all have more to be thankful for next year.
During the first days of November, I begin to travel into my “Thanksgiving mode.” Before I ever dreamt about becoming a rabbi, this meant trying to transform the day into something more for my family. Thanksgiving was the one American holiday that made sense to me—even as a person who generally resisted thinking about the ways that life had been fulfilling.