There are events in a lifetime that seem to transform us forever. My rebirth as a mom in the months and years following my daughter’s arrival was one such event. The loss and subsequent grieving after the death of my father was another event that was completely disorienting yet called forth new understandings of existence, of life and of God. Both events taught me more about compassion, as I related to my fellow humans who had experienced these life changing events across time, space and varied conditions.
There are circumstances in our lives that change us slowly, over time. We are influenced by the company we keep and by the activities we pursue, by the thoughts we indulge and by the habits we rehearse.
As we move through the stories of Genesis and move toward the festivals of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, I’d like to suggest that membership in a community such as ours affords the opportunity for the latter type of transformation. Joining together routinely with people engaged in a quest for learning, meaning and serving, has the power to transform us into beings who are wiser, more caring and more fulfilled as we learn to make each day count. The practice of giving thanks is not just a yearly practice in our tradition. It is a daily practice that if taken seriously, can alter our perspective and fill our days with light.
This month, for the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Chanukah coincide. Chanukah means dedication. As we gather with loved ones to feast and to light candles, let’s dedicate ourselves to becoming the best that we can be. Let’s r