BEACHWOOD, OH — In a tear-inducing speech to a room of NCSY high schoolers, Rabbi Eitan Weiss explained that he doesn’t need to celebrate Thanksgiving since he is thankful every single day.
“Each morning I wake up and say Modeh Ani and I am overwhelmed by the blessings Hashem has given me,” Rabbi Weiss said to the engrossed teenagers as he adjusted his black felt kippah. “So if I can count my blessings — or lose count of them— every single day, then why should I sit through dinner with my wife’s family in Chicago?”
As he wiped a bit of sweat from his forehead, he continued to gesticulate. “Every morning is a blessing! Every evening is a blessing! Every time I say Birkat Hamazon, I think of how grateful I am! So I don’t need to make small talk with my brother-in-law, sit between his grimy kids, fight with my father-in-law over politics or… what was my point?”
17-year-old Yaakov Deiner was inspired by this approach. “Rabbi Weiss really made me think,” he said. “Maybe I’ll put on tefillin tomorrow in front of my mom and see if she lets me stay home from dinner at grandma’s house.”
At press time, Rabbi Weiss was seen in a dark corner behind the school shoveling spoonfuls of canned cranberry sauce in his mouth.