Recipe for Thanksgiving


Recipe for Thanksgiving


  • Courage(Ometz lev)
  • Appreciation (Hoda’ah)
  • Awareness(Da’at)
  • Humility (Yirah)
  • Compassion(Rachamim)
  • Conscience (Tzedek)
  • Kindness (Chesed)
  • Graciousness (Chein)
  • Generosity(Tzedakah)
  • Love(Ahavah)


  1. Upon awakening, give thanks for all blessings, large and small.
  2. Breathe in the energy of life with awareness and gratitude.
  3. Open eyes, ears, and heart to abundance and dearth.
  4. Enter the day with courage and strength.
  5. Guide your steps with passion.
  6. Do what is good.
  7. Act justly and walk humbly.
  8. Seek relief, rescue and prosperity.
  9. Console and support.
  10. Nourish and sustain all living things.
  11. Provide safe shelter.
  12. Steward the earth faithfully.
  13. Sow, reap and share the bounty.
  14. Fill mouths with laughter and joyous song.
  15. Love yourself.
  16. “Love each person like yourself.” (Lev. 19:18)
  17. Seek peace- “every day, at all times, and in every hour.”(Birkat HaMazon)
  18. At the end of each day, write in your “Gratitude Journal.” (see example below, or just go to google images and search for “gratitude journals”
  19. Pass this recipe on from generation to generation.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi

7 Kislev 5776/ 19 Novembre 2015

Gratitude Journal




Feel the Glow!


The Light of Gratitude

Gratitude is a conduit for light. Light in the Bible symbolizes life, joy, justice, and deliverance. (Aytz Hayim commentary, p.5). Today is the first day of Kislev, the month of light.   In two weeks, Thanksgiving blessings of gratitude will hopefully rekindle our desire to care for the less fortunate. With each act of generosity, expressed, received and witnessed, all souls are illuminated by the glow of grace (chein), loving kindness (chesed) and compassion (rachamim). According to our sages, if we are to restore enlightened wholeness (shelimut) to a broken world, thanksgiving must become a daily practice which is continually renewed and refined.

The Light of Miracles

Miracles are the streaming of one person’s inner light into another. Seeing miracles takes practice. Miracles may easily go unnoticed if we linger in our own darkness. Opening ourselves even to the possibility of witnessing miracles invites a ray of that light to stream into us as well. Hannukah, which begins on Kislev 25, is our Festival of Lights. Each night, during the darkest time of the year, we add light upon light until the entire menorah is ablaze with miracles. These miracles shed light on our capacity to courageously fight for justice wherever injustice and intolerance are found. It is miraculous what a difference even one human being can have on another. Each of us has the potential within us to pursue peace, and miracles occur when we bring that potential to life.

The Light of Shabbat

With the setting of the sun comes the hope for PEACE – Shabbat. Kindling the Sabbath lights we invite PEACE into our home and our hearts.   We ask the SOURCE OF ILLUMINATION to stream the blessing of Divine light into our children and grandchildren – that they may be made whole (shaleim) through PEACE (shalom). Blessing them, we pray they, and all of humanity, will become vessels for and igniters of peace.

The Flame of Peace

PEACE can always grow brighter.   One PEACE-flame can add to PEACE by kindling an infinite number of other flames without being diminished.   Kindling peace is also practice which guides us into each new week.  It begins with restraining and containing darkness, to ensure that our actions come from the LIGHT. PEACE grows when we value each and every life, especially when darkness threatens to overwhelm the light of hope.

May our community, country and world soon see the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words: “…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war” (Isaiah 2:4).

Chodesh tov v’Shabbat Shalom.

Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi

Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5776/ 12 November 2015

Hands of War & Peace – A Reflection on Veteran’s Day


Dad's US Marine Corp ID from WWII
Dad’s US Marine Corp ID from WWII

His hands always fascinated me
Even as a young child
They were
Steady and sure
Warm and fleshy
Gentle and strong
Capable of fixing anything
Painting a flower with a few brush strokes
Building a tree house
Even at 91
Hearing, sight and memory failing
His hand in mine
I feel safe
Veteran’s Day reminds me
That freedom can demand
Fighting hands, killing hands
My father’s hands, at the tender age of 18
Did bloody work
Clearing the beaches in the South Pacific
Even for a just cause
It bloodies our hands
And our souls pay a heavy price
I don’t know where he put all of that
But he taught me
To use hands for healing, holding and helping
To me, this is a miracle.

Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi
11 November 2015/ 29 Cheshvan 5776