Enjoy this selection of inspiring Thanksgiving quotes, prayers and engaging ideas. Plus, an invitation to share your thanksgiving thoughts!
May you experience each day
as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” John O’Donohue.
“Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
your health, eyes to behold the world,
thoughts to countenance the unknown,
memory to harvest vanished days,
your heart to feel the world’s waves,
your breath to breathe the nourishment
of distance made intimate by earth.” John O’Donohue.
“Keep something beautiful in your heart
to survive difficult times and enjoy good times.” John O’Donohue.
Blessings: before & after eating!
Blessing over bread, before eating (or create your own!)
I/We appreciate this bread which is before me/us. It stands as a symbol of all food brought forth from the earth and the human strength and creativity which molds it. For bread does not sprout from the earth finished, it is only with human innovation that it is created. I/We appreciate the gifts of the earth and the human intelligence and hard work which sustain me/us.
I/We appreciate this bread which is before me/us. It stands as a symbol of all food which the Source of Life brings forth from the earth and the human strength and creativity which molds it. For bread does not sprout from the earth finished, it is only through a sacred partnership between humanity and the Divine that it is created. I/We appreciate the gifts of the earth given to us by the Origin of All Sustenance and the human intelligence and hard work which sustain me/us.
Blessing after eating (or create your own!)
Birkat hamazon is the blessing we recite after meals. The idea of making birkat hamazon is rooted in a verse of Torah: “And you shall eat and you shall be satisfied. And you shall bless Adonai, your God, for the good land he has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10). This teaches us that it is easy to recite a blessing when we are hungry. When we are sated, we might take our bounty for granted.
A one-line version of this prayer is in Aramaic:
Brich rachamana malka d’alma ma’arey d’hai pita
Blessed is the merciful one, ruler of the world, creator of this bread.
Thanksgiving table game
What other questions might enrich your table conversation?
Share what thanksgiving means to you this year? What challenges your ability to feel gratitude? How might you deepen your capacity for gratitude? What is your recipe for thanksgiving?
Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi