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Closing Prayer for Thanksgiving Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

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O you who are our Creator
and who sustains our life by your bounties,
You who has blessed our land with all manner of wealth,
bless you also us your people with the spirit of humility.

Let us not, in the pride of possession,
forget that we but hold all this wealth in trust
and that only when we are faithful to that trust
and use our wealth with wisdom, justice, and generosity
can it yield us true happiness.

Teach us that the joy of creation
far surpasses that of acquisition,
that there is more security in mutual helpfulness
than in selfish hoarding,
that to earn the love and gratitude of our fellow men
affords a deeper satisfaction than to force their fear, servility, and envy.

We thank you, O God,
for all your gifts,
but above all we thank you
for the gift of your spirit,
for only by it can we learn to use your gifts
for our blessing.

This closing prayer for Thanksgiving Day was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 327-328 — following at the end of a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. It is unclear from this publication whether the prayer was written by Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, or Eugene Kohn separately or together in collaboration. I have edited this prayer to replace archaisms (thee, thou, etc.). — Aharon Varady




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