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Dear Kiddos...

Thursday, 22 November, 2018 - 6:03 pm

Dear Kiddos,

Happy Thanksgiving!

While I didn’t grow up formally celebrating Thanksgiving, we always gave thanks. While my parents, your beloved Bubby and Zayde, didn’t understand why we needed a special day to do what we Jews do many times each day, giving thanks to Hashem, as I got older, I realized that Thanksgiving is good for our country, so that people pause, at least annually, to recognize the myriad of things that G-d does for them daily, for which they are to be deeply appreciative.    

In the first-ever Presidential proclamation for Thanksgiving issued by George Washington on Oct. 3, 1789 he wrote “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”. While on Veterans Day we thank the amazing men and women who have fought for our liberty and on Memorial Day we remember those who we lost in defense of that liberty, on Thanksgiving it’s all about thanking G-d.

So, kiddos, allow me to share with you a list of some of the things that I am grateful for, with the hope that you will create your own list. When you’re feeling down or crummy, look at the list and remember that life is pretty-awesome, and G-d is truly incredible:

I am thankful to G-d for gifting me two remarkable parents who I adore with every fiber of my being. Not all parents are amazing, and G-d gave me two that are and that is not something I take for granted.

I am thankful to G-d who through many acts of Divine Providence brought Mommy and I together. She is the greatest gift given to me by G-d and I thank Him for her every day.

I am thankful to G-d for gifting us with each one of you Kinderlach. Sometimes I may give you the impression that you're a burden or annoying, but you’re not; you’re my everything and every morning when I wake up and see you, whether in person or on Facetime, my heart fills with overwhelming joy for the children G-d has given mom and I.

I am thankful that G-d introduced me to Montana and that He honored me to be the Rabbi of its amazing citizens. There’re so many places I could’ve ended up, but He knew Bozeman would steal my heart.

I am thankful to G-d for the wisdom He gifts scientists who discover new medical devices and treatments and for the doctors who utilize these developments to caringly help our family (and the rest of world) with “Medical miracles”.

I am thankful to G-d for things that shouldn’t be taken for granted like clean water and air and for the fact that mom and I have never experienced hunger or homelessness. Food on our table and a roof over our heads is not guaranteed and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful to G-d for friends. Not only Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but for my dearest friends, some from my childhood and teenage years and others who I met later in life. I’d cross seas to help them when needed and I know they’d do the same for me.

I am thankful to G-d for in-laws who come in all shapes and sizes and I was blessed to have Bubby and Zaidy from Texas who get me (most of the time) and who have welcomed me into their family as one of their own since 2006.

I am thankful to G-d for our Rebbe. There are so many influences that guide our lives and shape our futures and I merited to live near the Rebbe and have him as a mentor. It’s what made me who I am, and I am so grateful that He gave me a Lubavitcher soul.  

My dear children, I am thankful to G-d for choosing our family to be part of the Jewish nation and serving as a light onto the world around us.

This Thanksgiving I offer thanks in the words of the Modim prayer “for our souls that are entrusted to You; for Your miracles that are with us daily; and for Your wonders in every season - evening, morning and afternoon. The Beneficent One, for Your compassions were never exhausted, and the Compassionate One, for your kindnesses never ended - always have we put our hope in You.”

Now go and write your own list. Tuck it away in your night table drawer and whenever you’re wondering whether G-d actually cares about you, pull it out and read your list, it will change your perspective immediately.

Happy Thanksgiving and Good Shabbos.

Aba

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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