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11/24/2020 04:01:50 PM


 Dear friends,

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to require physical distancing from one another, Thanksgiving will be particularly difficult for many of us this year. In that spirit, we wanted to reach out to you with some thoughts that we hope will be helpful as we navigate this season. 

First, please remember that our primary Jewish obligation is preserving health and saving lives. Any steps you take to keep yourself, your family, and our community safe and healthy is a mitzvah of the highest order -- not just good but godly, not just for safety but for sanctity, not just required but righteous. Thank you for being a mitzvah hero.

Second, we can still be spiritually close even when we are socially distant. We encourage you to connect with family and friends over the holiday by phone, or through the use of video conferencing technologies like Zoom. If you are willing and able to open up your Thanksgiving meal to others by phone or videoconference, or if you are looking for a Thanksgiving dinner to join by phone or videoconference, please email Rabbi Knopf or Cantor Rosenblatt (or reply to this email). We’ll do our best to help bring people together virtually.

Third, we encourage you to focus on the meaning of the holiday, which is inherently and deeply Jewish -- giving thanks. Focusing on gratitude lifts our spirits by taking our attention away from what we are missing, enabling us to fully celebrate what we have. Additionally, focusing on gratitude makes us more aware of other people’s needs, reminding us of our responsibility to lift others up. 

So this Thanksgiving, please take some time to meaningfully count your blessings and to express your gratitude in some way -- for example, by journaling, writing thank you notes, meditating, or offering prayers. Then, take a moment to consider those less fortunate, those who might be struggling: call someone in our community who might be isolated and lonely, pick up groceries or deliver a meal to someone in need, give as generously as you can to charities or causes that are meaningful to you; help us nurture our kehillah kedoshah, our sacred congregation, through attending a minyan or a Shabbat service, or by participating in our Caring Crews .

We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday. We are grateful for each and every one of you, and are always here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. And remember, also, that to be part of a kehillah kedoshah means to be there for one another, especially during tough times. This holiday, may we all not only feel, but also show each other, that even when we are socially distant, we will remain spiritually close. 

Rabbi Michael Knopf & Cantor Dara Rosenblatt

Enjoy Cantor Rosenblatt's recording of the prayer Modah Ani, or “I am grateful”. We invite you to incorporate this prayer into your Thanksgiving observance this year.

Click here to watch

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784