From Canaan with Love
This week we read the Torah portion called Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s years), which is titled as if it chronicles Sarah’s life, but is in fact the record of events that take place immediately after her death. After she is buried, Abraham, also advanced in years, begins taking action to secure the future and legacy of his family. As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a beautiful commentary on Breisheet (Genesis) 24:1 that serves as an important reminder about gratitude:
וְאַבְרָהָ֣ם זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים וַֽיהוָ֛ה בֵּרַ֥ךְ אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם בַּכֹּֽל׃
Abraham was now old, advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
Or LaYesharim (A Light for the Upright), which is a commentary on Messilat Yesharim, a foundational text of the Musar movement, asks what the verse means by “all things.” Surely Abraham can’t possess everything? The answer given here is that Abraham had been blessed with the quality of “all,” of being content with whatever he had, and never feeling that he lacked anything.
This is great lesson for Thanksgiving – the truth is that mostly we take what we have for granted, and look elsewhere for the things that we desire. From time to time it is important to look at what we already possess, and feel grateful.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and an early Shabbat Shalom,