The Gantseh Megillah

Thankful in So Many Ways
November 8, 2009

Shalom My Gantseh Megillah Family and Friends,

Every once in a while, someone will mention to me that Thanksgiving is actually a goyish holiday; that Jews should not participate in the celebrations. Well, to take a quote from another goyish holiday classic.......Bah! Humbug!

Thanksgiving is when we express gratitude for the abundance in our lives. No specific God need be mentioned. All religious beliefs are equal on this holiday, and even if you hold no religious belief, you are thankful for the riches in your life. So, at risk of sounding a tad goyish, I shall take this opportunity to enumerate some of what I am grateful for this year.

At the top of my list is everyone who has helped and continues to assist me through my ongoing medical crisis. The doctors, nurses, lab technicians, orderlies and absolutely everyone who works at the hospital where I am being treated, both as an in and out patient, are true heroes in my eyes.

Playing a different, but equally important role in all of this, are my loving family and friends; this includes my Megillah family as well. Locally, we are blessed with a good number of close friends who have made themselves available to us at all times of the day or night. Never have any of them hesitated, for even one second, to help us with various and sundry needs. The thoughtfulness of these wonderfully warm, loving and devoted friends who offer limitless support to us brings tears to my eyes.

Our Megillah family has showered us with letters, cards and phone calls voicing concern and offering prayers for my complete recovery. Because this support system comes from so many different areas of the world, I am once again reminded of how Jewish people stick together, and reach out to help one another.

Of course, in a category all his own, is Arnold. Always at my side, no task too large or too small, no need impossible to fill, but most important, no limits to his love and desire to live up to our mutual vows of better or worse, sickness and in health............

I am always deeply grateful to our writers who regularly contribute their talents and efforts to The Gantseh Megillah. None of them are getting rich writing for us because they do so on a completely voluntary basis; even those who provide us with occasional special features. These talented people share one common aim. They believe in contributing to the togetherness of the Jewish community all over the world. Arnold, and I, are flattered they consider our Megillah a worthy outlet for this goal.

I am especially blessed by the relationship I enjoy with my Megillah family. I am grateful for all the personal notes I receive sharing good news such as khassanas (weddings,) briths, bar/bat mitzvahs, engagements, notes of encouragement and support. We have also shared the sadness of family losses and other bad news of illness and financial difficulty. These are the exchanges between members of any family, and I am grateful that we can be there for each other.

This project of ours is a true community effort, or as we have said in the past, a shetl where we exchange ideas, argue differences of opinion, and seek new common ground. All the words provided, the hours of work given, and the money spent and contributed would mean nothing if not for you, our Megillah family who have taken this publication to heart, and who have supported it all these many years.

This year, as you prepare to chow down on your traditional turkey dinner, or appropriate meat substitute, remember to keep the thanks in Thanksgiving. I know that sounds corny, but it is also very true. That reminds me......can someone please pass the corn?

Much love to all of you,

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