Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Vayetze

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Candle Lighting time 4:12 PM

Imagine being given a bowl of sand containing tiny particles of iron, and you are told to remove the iron from the sand. You have two choices. You can pull your fingers through the sand, searching for specks of iron but finding very few. Or you can pull a magnet through the sand and watch it attract countless bits of iron.


Like the fingers in the sand, the grumbling heart finds very few mercies. But as the grateful heart moves through life, it finds countless blessings, just as the magnet finds iron.


Of all the choices we make in life, few affect us more powerfully than our choice between gratitude and grumbling. An honest look at our lives will reveal which choice we have made. If it’s grumbling, we probably see few blessings. If it’s gratitude, we not only find innumerable blessings—they seem to find us!


This Thanksgiving is different than all other Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus. Just like last Passover, family and friends are not coming together for a festive meal. How we approach this holiday will determine how thankful we are. Rabbi Harold Kushner gives us good advice for this Thanksgiving during the Covid 19 pandemic. “If you concentrate on whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures your soul.


Which choice have you made? Grumbling or gratitude? Grumbling overlooks blessings, but gratitude finds blessings everywhere—even in dry, sandy places! Even during a pandemic.


Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


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