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“Hem Your Blessings with Thankfulness So they don't unravel.” PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 11:20
By Deborah Bers: Before we reach the end of October, we begin to see displays of the trite symbols of Thanksgiving, a holiday that kicks off a season of frenzied shopping and partying.  And while Thanksgiving is not a Jewish holiday per se, I believe this column can weigh in with some related etiquette suggestions.   You may think that Jews are “born to kvetch,” as Michael Wex says in the title of his book, and it does seem that criticism abounds at the JCCH.  The saying that goes, “if you put two Jews in a room you’ll have at least three opinions” supports the idea that someone will always be unhappy about some aspect of the way our synagogue functions.  But an atmosphere of strife and discontent is draining for those in leadership positions, and makes it difficult for the clergy to focus on their jobs and perform their duties well. Certainly, some constructive criticism is healthy, and results in positive change, such as our newly refurbished social hall, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Keruv Initiative, to name a few.  But, as etiquette serves to make life more pleasant for everyone, we can choose to direct our main focus towards celebrating what we have that is wonderful.  We have clergy who are kind, intelligent, multiply talented, and dedicated to providing the most spiritually fulfilling experience they can for the congregation.  We have a calendar packed full of activities, special events and learning opportunities, most of it without charge.  Our congregants are friendly, inclusive and smart, and we have a core of enthusiastic, devoted members who volunteer time, money and effort toward providing stimulating and enjoyable programming and other services.   So let’s be thankful for all the blessings we have in our fantastic community of people who work so hard.  And let’s remember that gratitude goes a long way in creating a positive environment in which even more wonderful things can happen. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
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Melody Beattie