Shabbat Message, Nov. 27, 2020, Parashat Vayetze

Click HERE (video) for the sermon: More Than an Attitude of Gratitude – Why It’s Jewish to Say Thank You Every Day. As Thanksgiving spirit infuses our Sabbath this week we reflect on what we might call “gratitude catchers” and sources that help us express the thankfulness we feel. Words have power in the Jewish tradition; expressing our feelings goes back to our father, Jacob.

Click HERE (article) for: To Be Yehudim: Thanksgiving & Gaining Perspective on Gratefulness. We often think of our name as the Children of Israel connoting our being God-wrestlers. But our people are called: Yehudim in Hebrew. The root of that name is in thanks and gratitude. How do express it? By exploring liturgy and Birkat HaGomel in a symbolic way this article suggests ways to generate more gratefulness and gain new perspectives on what it means to be a Jew – a Yehudi, a thanks-giver.

Click HERE (video) for: Where Was He? And What Happened There? An Interesting Verb and Three Mentions of Makom, “The Place.” In our parsha, Jacob sets out from Be’er Sheva on a journey towards Haran, the ancestral way-station of Abraham and Sarah. While Rashi offers commentary that oftentimes creates narrative flow we see here that he introduces midrashic literature that deepens the spiritual dimensions of the Torah.

Click HERE for a recording of my learning and lecture: Goyble, Goyle, Goyble: Turkey and Thanksgiving by the Jews. The talk highlights history, halakhah (Jewish law about turkeys), and Jewish thought concerning our celebrating Thanksgiving Day as proud Jews.