- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On November 27, 2020
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. This week I share a prayer I offered as part of an Interfaith Service through Mayor Walsh’s office in honor of essential and front line workers.
Give thanks to the Eternal God
for God is good
God’s mercy is eternal.
So says the Psalmist (107:1) to remind us where our thankfulness comes from and to whom it flows.
At the very beginning of creation when God made the world, how did it happen?
God spoke and the world came into being.
God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.
God saw that the light was good. (Genesis 1:3)
But not just the light, the earth, the sky, the vegetation, the sun, the moon, the stars, all living creatures, those that roam the earth,
swarm the seas and fill the skies are all good. The crowning glory of creation, human beings formed in the image of the Divine are very good.
Inherent in the presence of the universe,
goodness was already there,
uncovered and revealed by Divine sanction,
manifest in life and light.
Therefore, goodness existed before.
It is present with us now
and will continue into eternity.
In Judaism, in Mussar teachings, gratitude means
recognizing the good. Hakarat hatov
It urges us to recognize the good already with us
even when we are not conscious of its presence.
Might we, therefore, be able to awaken our awareness of
its presence swirling and whirling around in our lives?
Always there, ready to be revealed
to recognize the good we have in our lives.
It has been with us all along.
The first step is to be grateful for our lives,
for our chance to awaken each morning
that we are alive and can face the new day
as if it were the beginning of creation
to gaze upon the world and say, “it is good.”
Then, to take the most elementary of steps,
to express gratitude—even if only with a few words—
to a person who has done work for us or has
made an effort on our behalf. (Every Day, Holy Day, pg 7)
If these days of Covid has taught us anything,
it is to see the goodness, the greatness before us
every day of our lives, especially for those who have done work for us or have made an effort on our behalf.
for those standing on the front lines,
essential to our community
offering themselves with their lives.
Many risk their lives just by doing their jobs every day.
They, like the goodness from creation, have been here
all along. They were doing their work before Covid thrust us all into a world of transformation. Maybe we didn’t notice them, but now we most certainly do with grateful open hearts.
It is we, all of us, the beneficiaries of their efforts
who must awaken our awareness
of their presence,
their grace in these intense times.
to offer our gratitude.
For they embody goodness.
And for us to remember
this well of gratefulness we feel now
and to carry it with us into the future.
Not just when times are challenging
but also when we are feeling good and content.
May God bless you and protect you.
May God’s like shine on you and be kind to you.
May God’s Presence uplift you, surround you,
and bring you peace,
So may it be.
- Let’s join together for another engaging Qabbalat Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. as we welcome Shabbat with song, prayer, and community. Following the service, we will have another virtual Oneg opportunity to meet others. We can pray together HERE on the Temple Israel website, or HERE on Zoom, or even HERE on TI’s Facebook page. Or, just find it all on the website www.tisrael.org/TogetherWithTI .
- Tonight at 5:00 p.m. our littlest congregants join for Tot Rock Shabbat. Join us on Zoom here
- Torah study engages everyone. We start with a short Shabbat morning service at 9:00 a.m. with Torah reading and then launch into a provocative discussion. To join the conversation interactively, access Zoom HERE. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
- Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat takes place at 10:00 a.m. Join us on Zoom here.
- End Shabbat together with Havdalah at 8:00 p.m. HERE on Zoom, or watch along on the website HERE, or on Facebook HERE.