Although Thanksgiving was first established nationally by George Washington, it wasn’t until 1941 that the 4th Thursday of November was formally established by Congress as Thanksgiving Day. As Jews living in America, we must be thankful that we can practice our Judaism fully, completely, and openly. We have many synagogues and Jewish day schools, such as Posnack. Kosher food is plentiful. We can celebrate Shabbat every week and all of our holidays when they occur throughout the year. I am very grateful and thankful to Hashem for living in America. I pray that Hashem continues to bless this great country.
In this week’s Torah portion, וישלח, our patriarch יעקב returns to Israel. He is concerned about seeing his brother עשו, who he has not seen in 20 years. As brothers sometime do, they quarreled a lot and separated on bad terms. יעקב wanted their reunion to go well. He thought very hard how to show his brother that he cared for him and wanted his friendship. To do that with a family member or friend, you have to think about the other person. What is bothering him or her. What would show that person how you really feel? To put yourself in the shoes of the other person is really hard to do. Let יעקב be our role model for how we should act.