By December 1, 2019May 17th, 2020Rabbi Tzemah's Blog

Many years ago I wrote a poem that begins: “I sing when the day comes / For at night there is only anguish.” This poem comes to mind this year as I am thinking about Thanksgiving. Sometimes it is very hard to sing in the morning, to be thankful, when nights are so difficult. My nights are particularly difficult right now because I have been sleep training my infant Itamar. But this rhythm of life makes me focus on what I am most thankful for, the smiles of my little boys in the morning.

These simple smiles are so important to me and contrast strikingly with the plethora of drivel I read during the day.

For example, I just took Gail Collins’ New York Times Thanksgiving quiz about useless political trivia and I got a perfect score. I don’t know whether to be proud or chagrined that I knew about Elizabeth Warren’s 25 foot inflatable dog balloon, but I did.

Life brings with it ups and downs, days when we sing and nights when we cry. It is important for our well-being that at our nadirs we focus on that which grounds us. For some of us this may be meaningful friendships and relationships, for others it is our children, or the work we do in the world. Sometimes it can simply be the wonderful books we read, or the taste of cold-brew and blueberries.

Whatever that may be, I encourage us to focus Thanksgiving on those things rather than on inflatable balloons!

I hope you have all had a Happy Thanksgiving!