As far as I know there are only two countries in the world that were founded on the idea of hope.
America and Israel.
And what was the hope?
The hope of achieving religious freedom, and freedom from government tyranny.
The Children of Israel, fleeing Egyptian slavery and religious persecution, settled the land of Israel 3,000 years ago, thereby fulfilling G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people.
The Pilgrims saw themselves as the children of the children of Israel, escaping a British Pharaoh and crossing a liquid desert.
In fact, so complete was the Pilgrim identification with the Jewish narrative that they seriously considered making Hebrew the national language.
Israel and America are religious and national twins.
America without Judeo Christianity at its core would be a meaningless husk.
And Israel without Judaism would be, well, hopeless.
At Casa Avrech, when we gathered for our Thanksgiving meal, we would go round the table and each of us would explain why we were thankful.
The kids laughed because I always said the same thing:
“I’m grateful that Karen married me.”
Well, I’m still grateful that Karen married me. I’m grateful that our daughters are lovely, bright and generous young women. I’m grateful that my son-in-laws are kind and loving husbands. I’m grateful that the memories of our twenty-two years with our late son Ariel ZT’L are filled with joy and pride in his piety, modesty and goodness.
I’m grateful that America makes this wonderful life possible.
George Washington released this Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789. Read it, savor the language, the love of G-d and country. Imagine if the ACLU were around in those days.
Karen and I wish all our friends a Happy Thanksgiving.