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A Thanksgiving Message from Rabbi Teller

11/22/2021 02:35:37 PM

Nov22

Rabbi Ranon Teller

Thanksgiving Prayers

Houston has a deep, historical relationship with Native Americans. Many tribes were native to Texas, including the Akokisa, the Karankawas, and later the Cherokees. In 2009, Moore Archeological Consulting discovered over 2,000 artifacts from the Akokisa tribe in and around the Houston area. Some artifacts, like tools, arrowheads, and pottery shards, were dated to 8,100 B.C.

Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas, had a special relationship with the Cherokee tribe, who were relative newcomers to the Texas region, having migrated from the east to escape danger and violence.

Sam Houston lived with the Cherokees twice in his life, for several years at a time. Eventually, he became a full-fledged member of the Cherokee tribe and advocated for their rights as best he could.

This Thanksgiving, let’s connect, with gratitude and appreciation, with those who inhabited this land before our arrival and conquest.

Great Spirit Prayer - Translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887
Oh, Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me! I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever hold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

Help me remain calm and strong in the
face of all that comes towards me.
Help me find compassion without
empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

Lakota Prayer
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun.

Ute Prayer
Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
Earth, Teach Me
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

Modim - A Jewish Prayer of Thanks translated by Rabbi Debra Orenstein:

We thank you, for you are our God and the God of our ancestors, forever. Rock of our lives, Shield of our salvation, you are the One, from generation to generation. We thank you and tell of your praises, regarding our lives, which are in your hands; regarding our souls, which are entrusted to you; regarding your miracles which are with us every day; and regarding your wonders and favors, which are with us every moment, evening, morning, and noon. You are good, for your compassion is never-ending. You are compassionate, for your kindnesses never cease. Our hope has always been in you. Amen.

Thu, December 1 2022 7 Kislev 5783