Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgivukkah Blessing

Having been advised that I would be giving the blessing at the annual Thanksgiving dinner, I actually stole something from the internet prepared in advance. This blessing, slightly edited, comes from the Clergy and Comedians Torah Roundtable, and doesn't that sound like a terrific group? I do like how as the prayer progresses, I'm lured into something deeper and less shticky. But any prayer that gives thanks for Mel Brooks is OK by me.


O Great Spirit, Who in Infinite Wisdom has brought together Chanuka and Thanksgiving. Thank You for giving Christmas a break from the Jews.

As we dine in the light of a menorah on kosher turkey and on latkes with a shmear of cranberry sauce, we recall two great movements for religious freedom, American and Jewish, the combination of which yielded Groucho Marx, Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks, Gilda Radner, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman.

May we be blessed with more religious freedom and less religious certainty. May we be less inclined to laugh at others, and more prone to laughing at ourselves. May our leaders learn from our modern prophets – speaking in clubs and old films, on HBO specials and Comedy Central shows – who unite us in our humanity, humility and vulnerability.

May our tears of laughter allow us to be open and unsure, and may God bless all of us, who are just muddling through, making meaning as we can. And may our descendants celebrate the next Thanksgivukkah, in 77,000 years, in a world of laughter and joy.

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