Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Shavua tov and chodesh tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Vayetzei

return-to-shabbatShavua tov — a good new week to you. And chodesh tov — a good new month to you; happy new month of Kislev!

Join us on Shabbat morning at 9:30amWe’ll be reading from Vayetzei, and services will be led by me.

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:

  • And here are commentaries from the Union for Reform Judaism: Vayetzei.

This week will also contain the holiday of Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a short-and-sweet prayer to say over your Thanksgiving table, or a singable one-line grace after meals to sing after you dine, you can download a pdf called “Thanksgiving Trio” from this blog post. And/or, of course, you can always pause before and/or after you dine to offer your own words of gratitude from your hearts.

Wishing you blessings,

Rabbi Rachel

Blessings and teachings for Thanksgivukkah

Dear friends,

As you know, this coming Thursday is not only Thanksgiving day, but also the first day of Chanukah, making it “Thanksgivukkah.” Most people have been saying that this won’t happen again for thousands of years, though my colleague Rabbi David Seidenberg makes a compelling case that it will happen again in 2070. (He also offers a lovely suggestion for blessing our children or grandchildren who will live to see that next Thanksgivukkah.) In any event: it’s going to be a festive day twice over!

Attached is a pdf file which contains:

  • a prayer for Thanksgivukkah written by Rabbi Jason Miller
  • a prayer for the Thanksgiving meal written by me
  • a prayer for Thanksgiving written by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
  • and sheet music for a one-line grace after meals.

ThanksgivukkahBlessings [downloadable pdf]

I hope that one or all of these will bring extra joy, mindfulness, and gratitude to your Thanksgivukkah table.

In Hebrew, the name for Thanksgiving is Yom Hodu, “Day of Gratitude.” (Hoda’ah means gratitude or thankfulness.) But the word hodu also means turkey, the animal which is traditional Thanksgiving fare. So Yom Hodu means both “Day of Gratitude” (or “Thanksgiving Day”) and “Day of Turkey.” May your Yom Hodu contain an abundance of gratitude — and, for those who aren’t vegetarians, an abundance of turkey, too!

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

Three blessings for your Thanksgiving meal

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Thanksgiving is almost upon us! By now you’ve probably received the newsletter which contains a Thanksgiving prayer by my teacher Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. (It’s an adaptation of the Al Hanisim — “For All the Miracles” — blessing which is added during Chanukah in our daily Amidah prayer, but it makes a fine standalone prayer, too.)

I’d also like to share with you a short Blessing for the Thanksgiving Meal which is my own creation, and sheet music for a very short-and-sweet one-line grace after meals (set to the tune of “O Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary”) which I have posted here before.

Here is a downloadable pdf file called Thanksgiving Trio which contains these three prayers: Reb Zalman’s Thanksgiving prayer, my Thanksgiving meal blessing, and “Brich Rachamana” (the grace after meals variation.) I hope one or more of these will speak to you this Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingTrio [pdf]