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WHY DO WE GIVE THANKS? Thanksgiving, Sukkot, and Football
Did you know Thanksgiving may have been inspired by the Jewish holiday Sukkot? Otherwise known as the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot is typically held at the end of September or during October (depending on where the Hebrew calendar places it in any given year), during the harvest season. It’s a time to give thanks to God and enjoy the bounty He has given us. Thanksgiving was first celebrated in North America by the Pilgrims who, before coming to the New World, spent time living among Sephardic Jews in Holland. Much like Sukkot, the first Thanksgiving feast was eaten outdoors and centered on giving thanks and sharing in the plentiful harvest. So it is quite possible that Thanksgiving was inspired by this Jewish Holiday. Whatever its origins, Thanksgiving remains a day to reflect on our blessings and give thanks, though there is a bit more football involved these days. I have never been a big football guy, but I used to watch the Redskins play every Thanksgiving with my dad, who passed a couple of years ago. Back in the day, we’d spend Thanksgiving at my parents’ house, with a big turkey, football on the television, and all the traditional stuff that comes with it. My dad was a Redskins fanatic, and once we ate our fill of turkey, we’d kick back and watch the game. Dad had this troll doll with crazy orange hair, and whenever the Redskins were getting
into position to go for a touchdown, he’d grab that doll and start rubbing its hair for luck. I’d make fun of him for it, but he always insisted that it worked and kept cheering and rubbing its hair. Today, our family Thanksgivings are very different. My parents are gone, and you can feel that absence. But as the generations go on and the years go by, I recognize how important it is to appreciate the time you have with your family. My wife’s brother will usually come in for Thanksgiving, and my siblings might come to visit too. Thanksgiving is a time to come together, share stories of the past, and reflect on what we’re thankful for. There are many things I am thankful for this year. My family is in good health, and my daughters are growing up to be strong, kind, intelligent people. I am thankful for the work I do and for the opportunity I have to help people. I am thankful I have wonderful clients who trust me to get them through hard times. This time of year, I really am thinking about my clients and their struggles. Thanksgiving can be a tough time, some of my clients have it tougher than others. Some clients have a spouse who still makes enough money to support the family while they’re out of work. Others were living paycheck to paycheck
before their accident, and now they’re hurt too bad
to work. Some have had their
cases completely denied, and as we await their Hearing date, there is no income whatsoever. With nowhere to turn, some may even spend Thanksgiving at
the Union Mission, and we’ve had clients who actually are forced to live there for a time while the case is pending.
When I sit down at Thanksgiving dinner and look around at my family, I am reinvigorated in my cause. I have been very fortunate in my life, and I feel that I have a responsibility to help those who have hit hard times. I can’t always snap my fingers and create a plentiful bounty for all my clients, but I can work hard to help them into the next stage of life, whether it be a new job or a comfortable retirement, where, hopefully, they will also have many things to be thankful for.
If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-694-7994 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. So call now, before it’s too late. –Joseph Miller
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