As 2014 winds to a close, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to meet – both virtually and face-to-face – so many wonderful, inspiring, encouraging people from around the world through JewishHolidaysInABox.
This community allows me to be so much of who I am, as I hope to help nourish Jewish and interfaith families looking for ways to celebrate Jewishly with more joy.
At the end of a day-long Joy Workshop I took last summer with the amazing Mado Reid, I summarized the core of what makes me tick into these descriptors: creative, entrepreneur, achiever, teacher/tutor, learner, keeper-of-the-faith, communicator.
So, to you, thank you. I am so grateful for you.
I’m also learning more about how gratitude is woven into Jewish tradition.
Rabbi Dov Heller, a licensed marriage and family therapist, calls blessings of thanks the ‘technology for helping us develop gratitude.’ By thanking God for every seemingly little thing — waking up, drinking water — someone who views life in the context of its problems can begin to appreciate its many blessings. JewishJournal.com
Woven into thousands of years of Jewish thought is the overriding idea that taking time to recognize what you have in life is one of the uniquely beneficial rituals we can undertake. ReformJudaism.org
There’s also an anecdote (maybe true, maybe not) about the famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman, who contracted polio as a child. One evening, after struggling to come out on stage, and after beginning to play his solo, a string popped. He could have asked to stop to restring. But he continued. Later, he said, “You know, it is the artist’s task to make beautiful music with what you have left.”
While working on this post, I Skyped with someone very, very dear to me, someone struggling with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, someone who has a mix of good and bad days – and I am so grateful for every good day.
Today, she said (and I wrote this down): “Whatever I have, I’ll be grateful for.”
Thank you for the gift of your company and your notes and your thoughts. I do not take you for granted. And I value the community we are building.
This week’s special: