Sunday, December 28, 2008


While the song "Who Knows One" continues to the number 13, Hannukah concludes with the number eight.
The eighth day of life is the day of circumcision for the Jewish male child, a sign of visceral and anatomical attachment to the Covenant with God.
Eight represents too a realm of the beyond, a space outside of the natural span of seven days, the basic unit of time corresponding to the completion of the Creation of the world.
Thus eight suggests the transcendental, that which knows no end. While we may be saddened by the conclusion of Hannukah and all its moments of miraculous celebration, the last light-the eighth-assures us that the noble, the sacred, the good of life are essentially un extinguishable since they occupy a place of eternity, a place beyond time.
May the lights of Hannukah continue to warm our hearts and bring joy and the recognition of gratefulness to all .

A final Happy Hannukah until next year, with God’s blessing.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The number seven is not only popularly considered a lucky number but is perhaps the most significant of all numbers in Jewish tradition. If asked for a reference to seven in Jewish life the common response would be the seventh day of the week-the SABBATH. I can think of no more accurate answer.
Seven brings to mind the sanctity of time-the Sabbath, the festivals of Succot and Passover, the cycle of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years.
On the seventh night of Hannukah , I ask you to pay attention to time and its holy significance.
Time is neutral, a raw gift given to each one of us. It is within our power to waste it, to kill it, to spend it, to while it away or to sanctify it. The seventh light reminds us of the unprecedented and cherished gift of the Jewish people to the world -the gift of the Sabbath as a day of rest, renewal and rejuvenation. Above all, it is a day of gratefulness during which we do things-eat and drink well, dress up in our Saturday best, engage in intimate relations with beloved spouses, pray and meditate, study, relax, and cease from competitive activity-all designed to enhance our consciousness of the gift of God's creation. We replenish our spiritual reservoir of being grateful in recognizing the wonder of life.

How can we not be thankful for this blessed day!

Happy Hannukah.


Without the six orders of the Mishnah-the early law codes of Rabbinic Judaism- the Torah would remain incomplete.
The reference of six pertains to this monumental work upon which the entire structure of Talmudic law and lore is founded.
Mishnah means to study, to review, to interpret, to change.
At the heart of these creative activities is the striving for order, for meaning, for significance and predictability. Chaos is inimical to human growth. Thus, the six orders of the Mishnah, our point of consideration on the sixth day of Hannukah, heightens our gratefulness for the capacity to bring order out of chaos, to recognize the patterns and symmetries of the world and of life.
This evening, the Sabbath, is ushered in by reciting the Kiddush, the blessing over wine. We begin with the words-“It was evening and it was morning, the sixth day;” creation was complete, leading to its culmination in the sanctity of the Sabbath day. The precursor to the peace and serenity of Sabbath is the creation of an orderly universe, a psychological and spiritual frame of reference that allows for human joy and limitless blessing.
On this sixth day of light we thank the Author of order for the gift of perceiving the patterns of life that make our lives manageable and meaningful and opens the way for greater flashes of soulful illumination.

Happy Hannukah and Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Since 1978, the fifth day of Hannukah has transformed itself from the carefree delight and magic of childhood to the subdued moment of sad memory. On the fifth day of Hannukah, my father died.
Thus, the flickering shadows of the fifth light fuse into the dancing reflection of a yahrzeit lamp ; miracle and memory merge.
The number five brings to mind the books of the Torah, five in all. As Torah teaches, so do fathers. Those who are scholarly instruct their sons in actual Torah; those without formal education, convey matters less of the intellect and more of the heart.
My father, a working man all his life, shared with me the lessons of a grateful and contented soul. Beyond the Torah of a simple life, he taught his children the Torah of decency, hard work, and respect for others. His proudest pedagogy was the love of melody and song. His wonderful tenor voice filled our home with sacred sounds- those of the prayer book, opera and popular song.
Not a moment goes by today without my mind echoing resonance of the singing voice.
On each and every fifth night of Hannuka I say thank you to my dad. May his memory continue to adumbrate with melody.

Happy Hannukah.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Three is not enough! However sturdy the three legs of a tripod, to guarantee groundedness, you need four.
We arrive at the feminine dimension of divinity, the four Matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. Midpoint in the process of en-lighten-ment, perhaps we find our spirits lagging. The tripod starts to tip, the flame flickers in the passing wind of a cold wintry night. Will the fire founder, flit away, leaving behind a dying ember?
Mothers and sisters restoke the fires, breathing life into smoldering ash as they caress and nurse and nurture. The bearing of arms is no match for the power of a woman’s breast. Weapons of iron and steel melt before the wonder of the womb.
Maccabbees we praise , and so we should. Have we forgotten the Judiths who transcend the gentle trace of a woman’s touch to breathlessly behead the drunken enemy of Israel ; the Hannahs of history , whose sons surrender to the altar of sanctification, so that the Divine name never be extinguished from the imagination and hope of the human heart ?
We add women to our Menorah, ascending on the ladder of the holy, those concealed from view behind the flaps of desert tents, awake and attuned to the nuance of every surprise, however serendipitous, never failing to fill in waterless wells with the tears of deference and defiance.
And so we cradle in our hearts the memory of matriarchs, gratefully, lovingly.
As we kindle the fourth light, taking strength from the miracle of the feminine side of all of existence, we continue to witness the luminescence of the days ahead.

Happy Hannukah.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Who knows three?
The three lights on the Menorah elicit the association to the three Patriarchs of our spiritual history-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
They represent the pillars of our past, upon whose presence , memory and unique spiritual attributes we stand and to whom we remain indebted and thus are able to continue our tradition on the firm foundation of these forefathers.
The merit of ancestors that we draw upon in prayer and bolster our own sense of spiritual worthiness is a powerful reason for feeling grateful as we kindle the three “patriarchal” lights.
Not only do we share in a contemporary community whose minimum number is two, suggested by last night's candle lighting, but we are also an integral component of a vertical community that stretches back to the beginning of Jewish time.
We are never alone if we link ourselves to the past, connecting ourselves to the chain of a cherished Jewish heritage and tradition.
As we light our candles or the wicks swimming in olive oil, we quietly thank Abraham for his hospitality, compassion and courage, Isaac for his reverence for the Divine and Jacob for his sacred struggles and his ability to find God even when shrouded in the lonely darkness of encountering the mystery of the unknown and the unexpected.

Happy Hannukkah

Monday, December 22, 2008


While one is essential to our striving for unity, this number suggests a sense of inescapable loneliness. God was alone and He created the human. Adam was alone, and “it was not good for man to be alone.”Woman was created.
We come to the first couple, the first relationship, the first hope for the easing of loneliness and the creation of community. Love arrives, as do difference and strife. As long as we stay in touch with oneness, our sense of togetherness with the other can stay strong and sacred. As long as we recognize the oneness of God in the other, we are never alone.
Who knows two? Customs vary-Ashkenazim point to stone tablets;
Sephardim are inclined to remember people of flesh and blood, brothers who are icons and heroes, Moses and Aaron.
I prefer people, not only those who are larger than life. Ordinary people, companionship, the sharing and giving and loving that grow from at least two. This partnership gives rise to gratefulness, thankfulness for the light of being together with another, holding hands and facing the future never alone.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I can’t help but draw a numerical connection between Chanukah and the lyrics of a song which will be chanted not when there is snow on the ground but when spring starts to release its liberating softness and warmth. The song I have in mind is sung at the Passover Seder –“Who Knows One.” Each stanza asks the question, to children, of course, whether they can identify vital parts of Jewish tradition in relation to their numbers or numerical value.
It seems almost natural to understand, at least poetically and associatively, the significance of the eight candles of Chanukah by looking through the lens of this charming children’s chant.
Moreover, perhaps the consideration of these numerical references will allow us to gain a better sense of newness and freshness with each of the eight nights of the holiday.
We begin, I believe, with the most important night, the first one.
Who knows One? Why is the first night so vital to the miracle of Chanukah?
Its relevance is obvious- One is Our God, Creator of heaven and earth. What does Oneness mean? Why is the Oneness of God so pivotal to the entire structure and enterprise not only of Chanukah but of Judaism as a world outlook and religious culture?
The answers are limitless. I am grateful for the following.
“We are fashioned in the image of Oneness. We reflect Oneness; we each refract it through the prism of our particularity. Each of us is a fraction of infinity. But a fraction of infinity is itself infinity…I am a unique creation; yet my most basic physical substance , my quarks and atoms , are identical with the substance of the antelope, a redwood, a distant star… Each person expresses the oneness in her own way. In the words of the Baal Shem Tov- God wants to be served in all possible ways… the world is teeming with God. Since God is in everything, one can serve God through everything, by raising the sparks.”
The one candle, the Oneness of all, the Oneness of God. As we kindle each light, do we liberate the sacred sparks from the intractable darkness in so many parts of the world? As we ignite the first light, we think of “ECHAD!”

“Unity of God

Is power for unity of God with all things.

He is one in Himself

And striving to be one with the world.”

(Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Happy Chanukah.

Friday, December 19, 2008


As I record Chanukah reflections connected to the capacity for gratefulness, I realize that I have reached 165 postings on my web site. Ever open to numerical associations,it occurs to me that the number 165 is a significant one in the history of Chanukah. It was, according to most reliable historical accounts, in the years 165 BCE that the event of Chanukah took place. Coincidence? Perhaps,or another tiny example of life's infinite miraculous minutiae?
Shabbat Shalom


The letters for oil in Hebrew-“SHMN”- when rearranged spell-“NSHM”- the root word for breath. Again, the sacred strata embedded in the vocabulary of Israel evoke a sense of the divine in material things. Oil,"SHMN", a fuel for light , warmth, and the emergence of energy, is entirely dependent on oxygen, on the breath, on “NSHM.”
The principle of the everlasting, the indestructible, the enduring associated with the cruse of oil that burned beyond its physical capacity of one day is a clear reiteration of the symbol for the miracle of life’s unfolding quality which never diminishes to extinction ,but somehow grows and expands like the universe itself.
In the mystical tradition of discovering God in all things, the letter rearrangement of “SHMN” illustrates our ability “to behold the infinite in everything finite.” Light and breath, the essence of living reality, become the basic ingredients for the life of the human soul and spirit as well.
Chanukah’s use of the ordinary, the product of the earth, and a tangible act of doing, point to the reality of the extraordinary, a heavenly source, and a spiritual gesture of understanding and intuition.
Again we are summoned to pay attention to the lights and to our breath, and in this way perceive the wonder of Chanukah.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


As lights play a pivotal role in Chanukah, so do letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Like numbers, letters contain rich spiritual meaning in all aspects of Jewish celebration and study. Hebrew words for items of Chanukah can be arranged in various ways to suggest significant symbolic associations. Like arranging flowers in a bouquet, tradition has encouraged imaginative configurations of letters in its conviction that the Hebrew language is a sacred tongue that reflects unlimited possibilities enfolded in its letters and words.
The word for the holiday-Chanukah - is constituted by two separate words-“Chanu” and “Kah,” each translated as the following-“They rested or camped”, Chanu, (on the) 25th, Kah, Kaf= 20 while h(ey)=5. Chanukah occurs on the 25th of the month of Kislev.
I would interpret the first word –“Chanu” a little differently; it is related to another Hebrew word-“Chen,” grace or favor. Thus Chanukah could be understood as the occasion of special grace, benevolence or love.
Returning to the notion of the miraculous on Chanukah, I would suggest that a perception of life that regards everything from the perspective of grace and love is a way of discovering the miracle in all of life. Feeling the grace, the gift of life, is being blessed with a sense of being given to with special favor and concern.
We all desire recognition, favor and being loved. The child by the parent, the wife by the husband, the employee by the employer, the actor by the audience. Chanukah’s miracle is the message that the ancient struggle for freedom is a gift bequeathed to all generations as an undying expression of the capacity of humanity and God to grace the world with compassion and love.
Happy Chanukah

Monday, December 15, 2008


The legend of Chanukah's miracle as recorded in the Talmud is one of great fascination to young and old. We are told that when the Maccabees entered the Temple after its desecration they discovered one cruse of pure oil sufficient for only one day; lo and behold ,it burned for eight days.
If one understands this story literally, then the nature of the miracle is interpreted within the context of the natural world and its functions. After one day, the oil should have been entirely consumed; that's the way the physical world works. Somehow, the laws of nature were altered or suspended, and the oil burned on.
I would prefer a different approach, one which corresponds to an understanding that is figurative and poetic, and points to the reality of a spiritual world that we can grasp and relate to in an intellectually and emotionally honest way. The child's imagination can mature within us to transcend the literal and touch the intuitive and the spiritual.
In this way, the message of Chanukah adopts a meaning that is unique because it discovers and embraces a truth that reflects our search for the miraculous within our lives and within the context of natural experience.
Imagine the first cup on the menorah with its measure of one day's worth of oil. Before us stretches a period of eight days. Do we view this cup as 7/8's empty or 1/8 full?
Herein I believe, lies the spiritual challenge of Chanukah-do we retreat into hopelessness and anger that often accompanies our experience of scarcity and inadequacy or do we welcome the gift of what we have, however its ostensible meagreness, with the joy, faith, trust and gratitude of witnessing what we have as a gracious act of Hessed, of favor and goodness, bestowed upon us by the Source of All ?

In times of want, when so many are not going to be showered with the material bounty which we have grown accustomed to, perhaps the lesson of the single light of the menorah is to remind us that this modest measure of oil, a symbol of prosperity , the fuel of light and warmth, has the power to awaken our capacity to feel thankful and to sing the praises of the Holy One, and by so doing, to experience again, with elation, the wonders and the marvels of Chanukah.
" Al Hanisim..." For all the miracles, especially the precious little in that one tiny cup, we are filled with gratitude on this day.
Happy Chanukah

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The key artifact of CHANUKAH is light, a candle or cruse of oil, NER ,in Hebrew. An essential characteristic of the act of kindling is its complete non-utility. Typically, lights are kindled at night to allow for the continuation of human activity. On Hannukah, however, activity and utility are suspended in the face of a greater miracle of human existence, namely the capacity and blessing inherent in the natural response of human perception, looking and seeing, not so much with the eyes as with the heart and soul.
“We may not put them-the lights-to ordinary use but are to look at them” to be reminded of the miracle of existence.
If one were to reverse the letters of light in Hebrew-NR-the word spelled would be RN- the root word for “to sing.”
Light is a silent song; indeed , a dance of color and luminescence.
Gazing upon a little light flickering in the darkness is a gesture of profound spiritual significance. We are one with the tiny flame, sparks sprinting into the shadows , the soul’s inextinguishable energy, its refusal to die .
Is it any wonder that Jewish law decided that the correct pattern of candle lighting should correspond to the School of Hillel, and not Shammai, to begin with one and end with eight? Shammai's approach, to begin with eight lights and descend to one on the last day represents a diminution of the human spirit which is everlasting and boundless.
We dare not decrease holiness in our lives; to use the light for a purpose other than its own reflection is to distract our attention from life’s holiness, to decrease the intrinsic sacredness of light and all the beauty and blessing it alludes to.
And it is not the quantity of light that counts. We are told that a large light ie. a bonfire does not qualify as Hannukah light. Perhaps the smallness is what gives Hannukah its power. The armies of Greece were large, mighty, over- powering. Israel was small, physically feeble, with only the wee flame of faith in the power of the human spirit. Therein, lies its triumph.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Chanukah is in the air-You can't avoid it even though its actual celebration doesn't begin until Sunday night, Dec.21. Newspapers and other media have already announced its imminent arrival to help us prepare for the holiday and to promote the "business" of Chanukah.
Thus my thoughts too turn to Chanukah, as an occasion for spiritual insight and growth.
A fovorite poet of mine, one I have quoted extensively, writes the following words:
Instructions for living a life:
(Red Bird, Mary Oliver)

In seven words I believe that this extraordinary poet captured the essence of Chanukah.
PAY ATTENTION-When kindling the Chanukah lights, we are enjoined to observe the lights, without the gain of any practical use."We may not put them to ordinary use, but are to look upon them and be reminded to thank and to praise..."

BE ASTONISHED-"...for the wondrous miracle of our deliverance." Are we not to be astonished not only on Chanukah but everyday for our deliverance, for living each day successfully and being able to expect the next one?

TELL ABOUT IT- One of the prominent characteristics of Chanukah is the invitation of the tradition to publicize the miracle-"pirsumah nisah." Unlike so any other Mitzvot which are performed in a less public manner, Chanukah is different. We are enjoined to tell about the miraculous, to share the wonder of Chanukah and life as a whole.
Not to arrogantly announce but to humbly and gratefully communicate through words and deeds.

Since there are eight days of Chanukah, I hope to consider more dimensions of spiritual value connected to this popular yet historically "minor" holiday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I teach prayer and Rabbinics to children in grades 1-4 in the Gerrard Berman Solomon Schechter School. This year I introduced a brief practice that I hope will enliven the student's awareness of gratefulness in her life.
Before a brief discussion of the Torah portion to be read on the coming Shabbat, each student takes a blank sheet of paper, or opens to a fresh page in a "Gratefulness Journal" and writes or draws what he/she is particularly grateful for at that moment.
At the end of the year we will review the compilation to better perceive all the things that elicit in the child's awareness a sense of thankfulness.
Yesterday, as I reminded the class of our procedure, one youngster replied somewhat perplexed and feeling put upon: "Didn't we do this last week?"
Little Alec raised a good question-Is gratefulness something we do only occasionally? Why must we say thank you everyday? My reply tried to concretize the reason for regularity and repetition.
"Do you wash your hands every day?" I asked.
"Yes," came the reply.
"Why?" I continued.
"Because our hands get dirty."
I then proceeded to try and draw the analogy of washing hands to thinking about being grateful. Our minds and hearts become"dirty" with a sense of taking things for granted, perhaps contributing to a sense of undeserved entitlement which interferes with our personal emotional and spiritual growth. The Rabbis, the spokespeople for Judaism's tradition of spiritual wisdom , made prayer -the expression of gratefulness- a daily and on-going requirement for the religious life of the Jewish people. All religions, for that matter, insist on continuity of daily prayer as an integral part of a person's spiritual experience.
One may ask further-can we teach gratitude to a first grader? After all, their worlds are somewhat circumscribed, and their view of gratefulness can only be a narrow one. To me, if each week the child draws a picture of his family as the object of gratefulness, it represents a further awareness of family as a precious gift in this child's life. Indeed, it would not at all be a bad idea if adults as well could set aside a moment of gratefulness for their families each day. The impact of this minor gesture on the quality of family life could be quite significant.
To teach is to learn, of course, and I honor my moments of bringing the opportunity of recording a reason to be grateful to each and every child in those grades. My hope is that the spoken phrase-thank you-become a deeply felt attitude in their hearts and minds.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Since the publication of my book-I THANK THEREFORE I AM-GRATEFULNESS AS HEALING-I have struggled with the proper and successful path of its promotion. I have no intention of deriving a livelihood from its sale-as a matter of fact I would be most pleased to be able to distribute the book freely-it would be a tangible expression of the book's basic concept of gratefulness and viewing all things as gifts. Unfortunately, I have incurred considerable expenses in self-publishing the book which leads me to expect some financial return.
A good friend, a poet and an open-hearted soul, made the following suggestion for which I am most grateful."Why make the honorarium be the fence that prevents you from engaging the world with your labor of love? What if you proposed that they pay whatever they want? It would be an act of deep humility that opens many doors. You would be living your message of gratitude and communicating it in the most direct way?"
As I read these words it became abundantly clear that my friend had reflected the path of gratefulness for my own spiritual enlightenment.
My gratitude for this moment of clarity is boundless.
Therefore, in the spirit of gratefulness I offer my book at whatever you wish to pay. You may contact me at: for a copy. A shipping charge may be added.

Friday, December 5, 2008


The economic downturn the world now experiences brings us much fear and pain. Yet, this time of less has much to teach us. It is also a time of irony which etches onto our consciousness the painful realities of life that can convey strength and wisdom.
A full page advertisement appeared in the New York times on the weekend of Thanksgiving.
It's heading read: HERE'S TO LESS. The source of this statement was the DE BEERS FAMILY OF COMPANIES-the world's famous producers of diamonds whose logo is likewise widely known-A DIAMOND IS FOREVER.
I was deeply struck by the words of this ad as they transmitted a message so unlike its ordinary urging that the world buy a thing-a diamond-with the implication that of all things the diamond is forever, it is an item of permanence and eternal value.
While the strains of "Diamonds are a girl's best friend,"echo a similar sentiment, the aim of this particular ad belied the song's seductive declaration . Allow me to share the words of this message. They ring out with a resonance of spiritual reality for which we can all be grateful at this challenging time.

"Our lives are filled with things. We're overwhelmed by
possessions we own but do not treasure. Stuff we buy but never love.
To be thrown away in weeks rather than passed down to generations.

Perhaps it will be different now. Perhaps now is the opportunity to reassess
what really matters. After all, if everything you ever bought her
disappeared, what would she truly miss?"

Clearly implied in this statement is a subtle reminder that the diamond is the sole object of value which can "Be passed down for generations" and the "she would truly miss!"You can't avoid the obvious need of a corporation to promote its product however difficult the times.

If seen spiritually, however,these words can tell us something entirely different. What is of ultimate worth and meaning is not a thing-even a diamond's value is transient- but rather the indestructible importance of the intangible yet real gifts of human life- love, compassion, gratefulness and shared joy.
As this season of gift giving surrounds our everyday awareness, I am grateful for the ability to recognize the eternal value of that which is internal to our lives, the blessings of the human soul.
Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Because of the imminent arrival of Hannukah, the entire Jewish month of Kislev, the current Jewish month corresponding this year almost completely with December, could be regarded as a month of miracles.
The concept of miracle is embedded in the very celebration and meaning of Hannukah. The spectrum of the miraculous stretches from the turmoil of the battlefield and the heroism of the Maccabees to the serene silence of the sanctuary and the piety of priests where a cruse of oil expected to remain lit for only one day continues its illumination for eight days instead.
When considering these two popular explanations of the miraculous, my sense of gratitude is rekindled by the recognition of all of life's core reality of wonder and miracle. Hannukah opens my heart to the warmth and contentment inherent in human celebration and religious ritual.
In considering the many dimensions of the miraculous, Hannukah is an opportunity to direct our heartfelt attention and mindfulness to that which elevates our sense of wonder at this time.
Each of the eight days elicits a sacred time frame for meditating on the miraculous.
Through the tale of Hannukah, its ritual of candle lighting, its foods saturated in oil,its recreational activities designed to enhance the participation of children, and Hannukah presents-an American offshoot of the custom to share Hannukah gelt(coins) used in these play activities- a web of wonder and warmth is spun which enfolds the hearts and minds of all celebrants.
As Hannukah arrives, I look forward to sharing some responses of gratefulness for the richness and beauty of Hannukah's sensuousness and symbolism.
Shabbat Shalom

Monday, December 1, 2008


The doorway to the Wal-Mart was the scene of a Thanksgiving gone mad. Desecrating the spirit of the holiday, America has created a day of shopping frenzy, a day that engenders greed and the insatiable appetite for the bargain, the sale .Indeed it is "black Friday" not because reduced prices keep customers and merchants' balance sheets in the black, but because the light of gratitude is extinguished and replaced by the darkness of desire gone rampant.
To attract buyers, stores announce the availability of a limited number of goods that people want but don't necessarily need-large screen TVs, sophisticated stereo systems, computers , objects that create a word of virtual reality- at prices that can only elicit chaos and confusion.
Early Friday morning, the hordes were at the gates. In an instant, herds of half-crazed humans charged through the doors, blinded by the hoggishness of having. Like a flood that sweeps away all things in its relentless path, shoppers dashed forward, an unstoppable current of bedeviled barbarians bent on bringing home the spoils for Christmas.
Swept away was the body of a young man, trampled underfoot into oblivion by a mindless mass of stampeding souls gone berserk. A human life had been stamped out by the fires of human hunger, not for food , which could have perhaps bestowed some sympathy upon this kind of outrage, but for the needless lust of so many for the seductive idolatry of material things. Some shed a ray of understanding on this tragedy by pointing to the moderate income of these crowds; I fail to understand the justification of the poorest of the poor to crush a human life for the sake of an electrical appliance.
The world was envelopped in darkness this Thanksgiving, from far away Mumbai to a shopping mall in the affluent state of New York.
Violence and avarice adorned the tables of our day -after Thanksgiving reality. We were not content; dissatisfied in body and soul, we continued to rape the lives of others in a desperation that defies all human understanding.
Gratefulness had disappeared; sounds of thanksgiving were silenced , drowned out by bursts of bombs and gunfire, eruptions of lustful shrieks embracing the golden calves of American excess.
I pray that gratefulness will soon return from its holiday and again grace our world with its blessing of goodness,compassion and joy.