December 4 Message

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Shabbat Shalom!

Each Friday morning I think about what message or quote I would like to share with all of you! This morning it was quite easy. I typically do not share personal experiences, but this morning I would like to share something that I experienced last evening with everyone.

In Tampa, the Jewish community (small but mighty) comes together for several events during the year. One of the more moving and outstanding events is our “Woman of Distinction” program. Each synagogue and every Jewish organization selects one woman to be honored. It is truly a wonderful evening. The speaker last night was Julie Shifman, from Cincinnati, and she spoke about grabbing happiness. She talked about five happiness catchers…all wonderful however, one really grabbed my attention.

We heard about gratitude and how we can grab gratitude to make us happy. She spoke about writing a gratitude letter…take a minute, yes, right now…close your eyes and think about someone that you are grateful for being in your life. Preferably someone that is still with us…not too hard, right? Now, think about why you are grateful…is it a parent that taught you about being a mensch, giving back? Or is it a friend that was by your side during a difficult time in your life? For me, I thought about my husband and how grateful I am for his support, guidance and wisdom. Now, that you have someone in mind, sit down after Shabbat and write that person a letter…and the very best part of what we heard last night, was to sit down with this person, face to face and read them your letter. How powerful is that! What a wonderful sisterhood program this could be, at a Rosh Chodesh group, book group or your next sisterhood meeting….my mind always goes back to how can our members use new ideas…!

We also heard about a gratitude journal….pick a time, once a week, and write in your gratitude journal whatever you have been grateful for during this week….and I thought, wow…a great Chanukah present, for your friends, for your children, for your grandchildren, for your sisterhoods…being grateful helps us to focus, be happy and to put things in perspective.

As we begin lighting our Chanukah candles this week…each night I will think of what I am grateful for, and I hope that you will too.

Wishing you a peaceful, meaningful and sweet Shabbat and a very bright Chanukah,