Kids get that line a lot, a cultivation of good manners: did you say thank you?  Grown ups, it is presumed, oddly, remember to pause and thank – a compliment, a gesture, gift, favor from friend or stranger or host or lord of hosts. But grown ups too can benefit from such reminders. I know I can.  On this second day of a new year – a focused pause to make a list of thank you’s. to focus on what is.


And not just pause and thank for the good stuff – also pause and say thank you for the hard stuff – the hard lessons, harsh truths, slaps and surprises, critical words and act of betrayal and transgressions: how else would we grow.


On the river yesterday, discarding the crumbs of the past into the world,  the kids learn how to make little balls from bread and aim into the water as they shout ‘goodbye!’ and ‘thanks!’ and ‘shana tova!’


thanks for all the kicking and screaming? yes. ‘one must bless the hardship just as one blessed the goodness’ said Rabbi Meir back in the dark days of the Talmud, during one of the revolts. There is this way of cultivating gratitude for all that is, and was, sweet and bitter both, honey and onion.  Lofty goal – be grateful for all.


Out of the blue, in the midst of crumb throwing, one of the kids turns to me and says ‘Thank you for my gift! – six hours after getting it. Never too late to melt some one’s heart with joy with a sincere thanks for anything or nothing at all. Great way to start a year.



Many Thanks.


Shabbat Shalom.


To a sweet year, honey, and onions. and more.


Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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