Service for Thanksgiving Day 1940 – Rabbi Joseph Lookstein

A few years ago I posted the Thanksgiving service from the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue of NY from 1945. Here is another one, this time the service from Kehilath Jeshurun 1940 and prayer from Rabbi Joseph Lookstein. Read the wonderful universal prayer- ideal for Thanksgiving reading.



Thursday, November Twenty-first
Nineteen Hundred and Forty
11:00 A.M.


Ma Tovu .                                                      Levandowsky, Cantor Fingeroth and Choir

Procession of the Colors
The congregation will rise at the entrance of the
color guard and will remain standing until after the
singing of the national anthem.

Presentation of American Flag     .         .       Ira F. Weisman, President, Kehilath Jeshurun Men’s Club

The flag will be accepted by Mr. Max J. Etra, President of the congregation

National Anthem      Congregation and Choir

President Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation –Max J. Etra, President 

Thanksgiving Prayer               .    Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein

The congregation will recite in unison the last verse
of the prayer.

Lo Amus                                          Machtenberg Cantor Fingeroth and Choir

Offertory Thanksgiving Address        Hon. Charles Lieutenant-Governor, State of New York

Olenu                                                                               Congregation and Choir

Adon Olam                                                                       Congregation and Choir


THANKSGIVING PRAYER by Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein

Eternal God:

We thank Thee for the glory of the universe, for the light of the sun and the mellowness of the moon and for the stars in their courses whose amazing dimensions and staggering distances challenge our imagination.

We thank Thee for the beauty and utility of Thy creations, for the flowers which are the stars of the earth even as the stars are the flowers of heaven; for the fertility of the soil and the abundance of its products; for the food that is borne within its bosom and the waters that flow from its deep and inner fountains; for the air that surrounds all creatures and that holds within its invisible self the secret and power • of life.

We thank Thee for the dignity and majesty of man, for the spirit of wisdom with which Thou didst endow him, for the vision with which he is possessed, for the sensitivity of his heart and the profound­ness of his soul. We thank Thee for the dominion that is his over all creation, for his capacity to live with all his kind and for the urge that stimulates him to search, to seek and ultimately to approach even Thee.

For all these blessings we thank Thee.

Almighty God, we pray that we may remain true to the destiny for which we were created. We pray that the dignity of human per­sonality may be preserved and the reverence of man for man may continue. We pray that the beautiful heavens that Thou didst spread over our heads may not be darkened by the clouds of hate and that the magic carpet which is earth may not be disturbed by the tramp of hostile feet. We pray that man’s inhumanity to man may forever end and that human genius may continue to strive for greater perfection and for nobler fulfillment. Let man come to understand that he is closest to God when he is nearer to man, that he worships at Thy holy throne when he serves Thy creatures and that he is within Thy holy shrine when he is at one with his fellow-beings.

We pray also for those of our fold in benighted lands of oppression, exposed to cruelty and suffering, that they may soon be blessed with the restoration of the rights and privileges of which they have been despoiled and which we believe to be the inalienable rights of man.

We pray sincerely for America and the ideals of democracy and freedom that are here enshrined. May she be strong to withstand all the currents that assail her and all the forces of evil that would invade her sacred precincts. A tower of light to her own citizenry, may she cast a steady beam and light up all the dark areas of the world and show to a perplexed and straying humanity the path of freedom, of life and of peace.

Rabbi and Congregation.

May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to Thee, oh Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Thanksgiving Service at KJ 1940 EDITED

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