Holidays / Thanksgiving / Thanksgiving Readings

Thanksgiving Readings

Thanksgiving Prayer

- Rabbi Naomi Levy

Even with the imperfections of the US right now, this reading reminds us that we are blessed to be a part of this nation.

First line: For the laughter of the children, for my own life breath. Last line: Thank You, God, for giving us all these. Amen.

Visions of Peace

- Yehuda Amichai

Don’t stop after beating the swords into ploughshares, don’t stop!

Prayer for Our Country

- Robert F. Kennedy

First line: Let no one be discouraged by the belief that there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance and violence. Last line: Crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples can build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Another Prayer for Our Country

- Rabbi Ayelet Cohen

2020 has been a rough year for all of us. We think that calls for another prayer. This prayer from Rabbi Ayelet Cohen is just what we need to help carry us through to better times.

First line: Our God and God of our ancestors, bless this country and all who dwell within it. Last line: Let justice well up like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Blessing for Anyone Who Isn't Jewish

- Adapted from Rabbi Janet Marder

At JewBelong, we love to honor the growing diversity of the Jewish people – those who were born Jewish, those who converted, those who are not Jewish, and those who are fluid about the subject. We deeply appreciate those who are not Jewish and are leading lives with Judaism as you make our community richer. This blessing is for you.

Thanks for the Memories

- Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy)

Good old Shonda Rhimes, who brought us Grey’s Anatomy and its star, Meredith Grey, that somewhat confounding character who brought us so many laughs, tears, and thoughtful moments like this one.

First line: Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Last line: At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.

The Final Analysis

First line: People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. Last line: You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.


- Generic Hebrew Blessing

Here’s a perfect catch-all/generic Hebrew prayer for gratitude that’s perfect for Thanksgiving.

Today, When I Could do Nothing

- Jane Hirshfield

First line: Today, when I could do nothing, I saved an ant. Last line: This first day when I could do nothing, contribute nothing, beyond staying distant from my own kind, I did this.

Small Kindnesses

Danusha Laméri

First line: I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by. Last line: “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”


- Susan Whelehan

First line: The tossed salad at our Soup Kitchen starts with lettuce from the community garden. Last line: They offer thanks and ask about the garden. And so it grows.

What We Have to Be Grateful For

- Rick Moranis

First line: I HAVE two kids. Both are away at college. I have five television sets (I like to think of them as a set of five televisions). Last line: I have two kids coming home for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Prayer

- Rabbi Naomi Levy

First line: For the laughter of children, for my own life breath. Last line: Thank You, God, for giving us all these. Amen.

A JewBelong Promise to Work Together to End Antisemitism

- JewBelong

We promise to do our part to end antisemitism.

First line: Antisemitism is on the rise and we must all do our parts to stop it. Last line: We’ve already learned the bitter lesson that true hate is never little, it is never unimportant, and it should never, ever be ignored.

When it Came to Listening

- Rupi Kaur

First line: When it came to listening, my mother taught me silence. Last line: She asked me to be thankful for the choices I had that she never had the privilege of making.

A House Called Tomorrow

- Albert Ríos

First line: You are not fifteen, or twelve, or seventeen — You are a hundred wild centuries
Last line: And those who came before you? When you hear thunder, hear it as their applause.

Reverie of Gratitude

- Patty Seyburn

First line: I would like to invite you over for butternut squash soup. I am excellent at making this soup. Last line: Be here close to noon, as my sister-in-law makes an artichoke spinach dip that disappears quickly.

Planting the Seeds of Eternity

- A Talmud Story

First line: One day a sage was walking along a road, and he saw a man planting a carob tree. Last line: I found grown carob trees in the world; as my forefathers planted those for me, I too plant these for my children.

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