I had planned to begin this week thanking the many people who volunteered to help us get the word out, by posting Torah.org flyers (or arranging to have them posted) on their campus or in their neighborhood.
Instead, I must thank the few people who did so, all the more!
At this point we still don’t know who posts flyers in the shuls in Flatbush, or how much it costs — much less the smaller communities. If you can help us with this effort, please write to genesis -at- torah.org; we will pay all expenses, of course!
In Hebrew, the word “Hodu” has three meanings. One is “turkey,” and another is “give thanks.” The third meaning is “India,” which seemed irrelevant until Rabbi Dixler pointed out that the original pilgrims called the turkey an “Indian chicken.”
Whether or not today was marked by consumption of turkey (which Ben Franklin wanted to have as the US national bird, rather than the eagle), it is appropriate to be thankful in a country which has offered us such complete freedom to practice and live as Jews. For most of our history, Jews have been like our forefather Yaakov. Yaakov left the company of Lavan, who cheated and deceived him, and attempted to oppress him financially, and then went to his brother Esav, who brought an army out to meet him. America remains a beacon of freedom to the world, for which we must be thankful all the more.