Two more poems for the week of Thanksgiving: Converse and Erdrich
Day after Thanksgiving, two years ago

A Thanksgiving Prayer


Thank You, God of Eternity,
for the great wonder of Your creation,
for the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon,
and the beauty of Your universe,
with which in Your great kindness You have blessed me.
Thank You for granting me life, in all its richness,
for its brilliant moments of joy
which allow me to soar as the birds,
and even for its anguish and pain,
which somehow seem to precipitate inner growth and change.
For all these things, God, I am grateful.


But thank You, especially, God, in Your abundant love,
for having chosen to make me a human being,
blessed, among all the fruits of Your creation,
with a mind to reason and seek truth and justice;
with a soul which can feel pain, ecstasy, and compassion,
and has the freedom to choose life and goodness
over cruelty and destruction;
and with a heart which can love and care,
and reach out to touch the hearts of my brothers and sisters,
as together we walk through the years of our lives.

-- Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, from All Breathing Life (which I reviewed back in July)

Last year at this season I shared Reb Zalman's Thanksgiving prayer, a paragraph of text recounting one version of the American Pilgrim Thanksgiving story (written in the style of, and optionally to be included in, the amidah we say during daily prayers.) This year I'm sharing one of his prayers of thanksgiving which isn't specifically for, or about, Thanksgiving Day itself. This is, I think, meant to be a daily prayer... but surely today is a fine day on which to recite it.

May we all be aware, today and every day, of the many blessings for which we can and should give thanks.

May all be fed, may all be nourished, may all be loved. To all my readers in the US, and American readers abroad, I wish a happy American Thanksgiving! And to everyone else, a happy Thursday.