Thanksgiving Seder 2021: Expressions of Gratitude
Seder Order / Table of Contents:
A SONG: Fanfare for the Common Man (Copeland)
B Welcome to Thanksgiving Seder
C The Process
D Another Day — Modeh Ani
F (Personal Reflection)
G (Official) History
I Small things
K Food and Workers
O (Translation- or Personal Reflection)
P The Earth and Nature
Q The Quest for Love
SONG — Wildwood Flower
R (Personal Reflection)
S The Future
T The Human Body
U The Mundane
HEVRUTA — What are you grateful for? How do you express gratitude? How do you practice gratitude?
SONG -If I Had a Hammer
Z This Moment
Welcome to Thanksgiving Seder- and Introduction to the Order!
Be thankful that you don’t already
have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look
Be thankful when you don’t know
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Modeh Ani Lefanecha Melech Hay VeKayam Vehechzarta Bi Nishmati BeHemla Raba Emunatecha
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ מֶֽלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּים. שֶׁהֶֽחֱזַֽרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי ,בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמֽוּנָתֶֽךָ׃
“Grateful am I before You, Sovereign of all Life and Existence, who has restored in me my soul with compassion, Abundant is your faith”
We remember the generosity of the Wampanoag tribe to the helpless settlers.
We remember the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans who lost their lives at the hands of colonialists….
We remember the vibrant and powerful Native descendants, families, and communities that persist to this day throughout the culture and the country.
We remember people like Sharice Davids
and Debra Haaland who in 2018 became the
first Native American women elected to Congress.
“By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation: The year … has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence …
b) … I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving … In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. By the President: Abraham Lincoln”
- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
- We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha
Baruch ata adomai elokeinu melech ha’olam, she’asani btzalmo.
Blessed is the Source who made me in the divine image
FOOD and WORKERS
Baruch ata adomai elokeinu melech ha’olam, Hamotzi Lechem Min Ha’Aretz
Blessed is the Source Who brings forth bread from the earth
I will continue to fight for this land, I will continue to educate others about this land, and I will pray for this land.
And yes, tomorrow, I’m going to eat some … turkey. But not in honor of some mythic coming together of Natives and colonizers. Because it’s delicious.
The fight will still be there after that turkey, and I’ll be ready.
Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation)
Baruch ata adomai Elokenu melech haolam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzvivanu La’Asok B’divrei Torah
Blessed are You, Source of all, Who hallows us with sacred obligations, commanding us to engage with holy learning
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
THE EARTH and NATURE
that each and every shepherd
has his own tune.
that each and every grass
has its own poem.
And from the poem of the grasses
a tune of a shepherd is made
How beautiful, how beautiful and pleasant
to hear their poem.
It’s very good to pray among them
and to serve in joy
And from the poem of the grasses
the heart is filled and yearns”
- Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav
THE QUEST FOR LOVE
SONG — Wildwood Flower
I will twine, I will mingle my raven black hair With the roses so red and the lilies so fair And the myrtle so bright with it’s emerald hue The pale emanita and the hyssop so blue I will dance, I will sing and my laugh shall be gay I will charm every heart, in his crown I will sway I woke from my dreaming, my idol was clay All portions of loving had all flown away But he taught me to love him and promised to love And to cherish me over all others above My poor heart is wondering no misery can tell He left with no warning, no word of farewell Well you told me you love me and called me your flower That was blooming to cheer you through life’s dreary hour I live to see him regret life’s dark hour He’s gone and neglected this pale wildwood flower
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —
I, too, am America.
THE HUMAN BODY
Blessed is the source who formed the human with wisdom and created within each many openings and many hollow spaces. It is obvious and known before Your Seat of Honor that if even one of them would be opened, or if even one of them would be sealed, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You even for one hour.
“Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” —
Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.” — Munia Khan
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
— Albert Schweitzer
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the morning I’d hammer in the evening All over this land I’d hammer out danger I’d hammer out a warning I’d hammer out love between My brothers and my sisters, ah-ah All over this land
If I had a bell I’d ring it in the morning I’d ring it in the evening All over this land I’d ring out danger I’d ring out a warning I’d ring out love between My brothers and my sisters, ah-ah All over this land
If I had a song I’d sing it in the morning I’d sing it in the evening All over this world I’d sing out danger I’d sing out a warning I’d sing out love between My brothers and my sisters ah-ah All over this land
I got a hammer And I’ve got a bell And I’ve got a song to sing All over this land It’s the hammer of justice It’s the bell of freedom It’s the song about love between My brothers and my sisters All over this land
Blessed Is the Source who has granted us life, and sustained us, and enabled us to arrive at
Baruch atah Adomai Elokenu melekh ha’olam shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi’anu