It’s such a simple word.
For virtually everyone reading my words on this Sunday before Thanksgiving, the word “roof” might not have any special meaning.
For me, during the past several months, each time I walk into our home I can’t help but notice our roof.
For me on this Thanksgiving, I am expressing my continuing deep gratitude for the roof that shelters me and my family from day to day and month to month.
Whenever I watch the news on TV and I see the pictures of refugees trying desperately to reach Europe, I make my private prayer of thankfulness for the safety and security of our home and our beautiful Baton Rouge here in our beloved America.
It is almost impossible to imagine the travail of the men and women and the boys and girls abandoning their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many other nations suffering under the brutality of the Islamic State.
As we have witnessed the unspeakable horrors of the attacks in Paris, our Thanksgiving becomes so much more meaningful.
My family and I certainly understand how our grandparents made their way from Russia, Poland and Greece to these shores early in the 20th century.
They also were escaping oppression and anti-Semitism.
How grateful we are today for their courage and for this land and the opportunities America gave to our ancestors.
Would it not be wonderful if once again we could welcome with open arms those from far away who are homeless?
But these days our concerns for our own safety here in the United States makes us all the more cautious about who we should welcome to America.
Most of us will gather around the Thanksgiving table and offer prayers thanking God for the blessings of home, family, work and friendship.
I only hope that through the months and years ahead when we glance at the roof above us, we will be ever so mindful of the hundreds of thousands without this blessing.
I also hope that we will do our best through our charitable donations to somehow ease their burden and help them once again to have the safety of a roof over their heads.
Happy Thanksgiving, Baton Rouge, as we all draw ever closer together in love and kindness.
— Rabbi Weinstein lives in Baton Rouge
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