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Happy Thanksgiving! 

11/27/2020 01:51:16 PM

Nov27

What an odd Thanksgiving it has been... Like Passover and Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving leaves us more leftovers than usual. Our tables were not surrounded with friends and family, as everyone is trying to stay as safe and healthy as possible. We know that this, too, shall pass but it has been so long since we have seen and held one another.

The Torah portion read this Shabbat continues the tragic saga of twin brothers, Jacob & Esau, who are so different that it is hard to believe they come from the same womb. From the way they dress to their chosen occupations, to their world views - the two were opposites in every way. Dramatic conflicts began in utero, led to Jacob receiving the birthright instead of Esau, and concluded last week with Esau vowing revenge on his brother after their father's death.

Time passes; this week we read about Jacob's relationship and marriage to Rachel and Leah. Esau, too, marries and has children. In next week's reading, Jacob returns home and the brothers finally reunite. What could have been a bloodbath is actually a lovefest. Esau runs toward his brother, embraces him, kisses him, and they both weep. The great commentator, Rashi, explains that both brothers realized at that moment that the familial bond that united them was far stronger than the personal differences that kept them apart.

I find inspiration in this story for our current situation. If such a seemingly impossible reconciliation can take place between these two brothers, surely it is possible that our family will also reunite in-person again soon. May our separation also be temporary. May we find ways to connect, while keeping ourselves and others safe. May we show gratitude for our many blessings, and may we soon be able to gather at the synagogue and in our homes to celebrate many happy occasions together.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful and blessed Shabbat,
Rabbi Suson

Wed, April 14 2021 2 Iyyar 5781