Thanksgiving 2015 – We are so blessed!

Thanksgiving is coming and what are most people thinking about? Food and eating, being with family and friends, a day off, and shopping.

In America, Thanksgiving commemorates the pilgrims’ gratitude for receiving help from the Native Americans and giving thanks to God for a bountiful harvest.

In my 55 Thanksgivings so far, I don’t recall discussion of the meaning of the holiday and never any mention of God. I know many American families do some sort of blessing.

In my religion, Judaism, every day is actually thanksgiving, especially the Sabbath and holy days. The small percentage of religious families give heartfelt thanks for abundant blessings. The more observant the household, the more fervent the thanksgiving prayers. For food and for everything, every day!

All my grandparents were born over a hundred years ago, across the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side of the world, in Russia, a place that was not safe for Jews. In the old country, Jews had to hide to stay alive. They were grabbed up and tortured and killed. Nothing has changed for Jews and other peoples in many parts of the world.

My grandparents traveled to America in the steerage section of dirty, crowded, infested ships, an arduous, scary journey that took weeks. Not a luxury cruise! With God’s help, they settled in St. Louis, struggling to learn English and become US citizens eke out a living, working long hours six or seven days a week, in hot, difficult conditions. There was no air conditioning. No hot showers~no showers at all. No indoor plumbing. No antibiotics to cure diseases. No tv. No microwaves, no refrigerators, no computers, no smart phones… no phones at all! They could never have imagined mobile devices, email, and Facebook. So much has happened in these hundred years.

For us in America, that is!

Almost everyone reading this article lives in America or in a location where we have clean water to drink, hot showers, flushing toilets, warm homes and beds, electricity, clothes and shoes, plentiful food. We also have freedom and security. A lot of the world does not have these things. We can do pretty much whatever we want, and we mostly think about eating, especially on Thanksgiving.

Our grandparents’ generation was not always free to go to synagogue, nor even go outside their little houses. Finally in America, they were free and safe to be Jewish. They aspired to raise all of us to be good people, good Americans, and good Jews.

Let us think about our abundant blessings. If you are always aware of how fortunate you are and all that you have, you’ll be in a better position to attract a mate into your life. I don’t mean the mistaken arrogant attitude of how wonderful you are and how much you deserve and how much better you are compared to those who have less or aren’t as successful or don’t look as good as you. I am referring to a sense of humility and a greater appreciation of where our bounty comes from! Yes, from your own hard work and sacrifice, but it goes much deeper than that.

It is our obligation to take responsibility for ourselves and to repair the world which God created for us, and to always have in mind where our blessings come from, on Thanksgiving, and every day.

If you exude an attitude of gratitude~to God, to others, to your (hopefully) partner-you’ll be a better person and much more desirable to be around. Exude a real attitude of real gratitude to attract a real dude, or duda. Happy Thanksgiving!

Who is Paula?
Sparks Matchmaking strives to connect Jewish individuals for the purpose of dating, marriage, and Jewish continuity. So far, 18 couples are married-with a 0% divorce rate and 12 Jewish children from those marriages. Several more couples are happily dating or in long-term relationships.

1 Comment

  1. Joel Ehrlich

    our name, Judah, means ‘thanks’

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