Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why Thanksgiving?

הַלְלוּיָהּ ׀ הוֹדוּ לַיְיָ כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּו
Halleluyah! Hodu L’Adonai Ki Tov Ki L’Olam Chasdo!
Praise Yah. Give thanks to YHVH/Yah/Adonai/the LORD/HaShem, for he is good; his Chesed endures forever.
The Message gives the following translation of Psalm 106:1: “Thank God! And why? Because he’s good, because his love lasts.
Why give thanks?
In years past, we have itemized so many of the things for which we are thankful—everything from atoms to zebras; terra firma to technology; soup to nuts; prose to poetry; music of all kinds; friends, family, and fortune; words, languages, and communication; love; children and grandchildren; progeny and progenitor; minds to think and voices to speak; nature and nurture; so many things for which to be thankful. When one gets right down to it, in just a few words, succinctly, and in a nutshell, with zero redundancy—everything. Everything-that-is is an object of, and a reason for, thanksgiving.
Psalm 106 gives us the why in a concise manner, in the context of the Creator, the Self-Existent One (which is a hint of the sense of the possibility of the meaning of the Tetragrammaton, those mystical four letters—YHVH—that signify the “name” of the one called Lord, Adonai, Yah, HaShem—the one who brought existence into existence for us, as if we could fully understand the Name of that One.) 

Praise and give thanks because that One is Good and his Chesed endures forever. And what, pray tell, is Chesed? It is variously given as the following:
Faithful love
Covenant Love

Whichever English word or combination of words one may choose, it is all good and worthy of thanksgiving.
Put simply: It is an unending love.

And for that, both aside from, and because of, everything else in the universe for which we might and should be thankful, we give thanks this Thankgiving Day 2014, which coincidentally (unless one does not believe in coincidence) coincides with the first day of Hanukkah/Chanukah/Channuka (so many ways to spell it), the Festival of Lights, the Feast of Dedication, as well as the celebration of the weak overcoming the mighty by the power of the One who is good and whose Grace/Mercy/Lovingkindess/Kindness/
Goodness endures forever and ever.

Happy Thanksgiving/Thanksgivukkuh, everybody.


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