Thanksgiving: Church Holiday

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  • #593168

    goodbye
    Member

    In 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation naming November 26 a day of National Thanksgiving. At the same time that year, the PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH announced that the first Thursday in November would be set aside YEARLY for giving thanks. In 1888 the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH formally recognized the day.

    The religious aspect of the first Thanksgiving celebration is obvious in this passage from the first Thanksgiving Proclamation, June 20th, 1676 [where it mentions JC]:

    “The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by J—S C—-T.”

    Stay away from the serious issue of ‘chukois hagoy’ by NOT celebrating ‘Thanksgiving’; especially not with turkey etc.

  • #1146197

    🙂

  • #1146198

    twisted
    Member

    quite amazing how they communicated in “English?”

  • #1146200

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    I have to say that I am always amused and bewildered by the fact that in this “season” each year, hundreds of millions of xtians spend BILLIONS of dollars to celebrate (what they think is) the birthday of a Jew (albeit a navi sheker), – and yet, (so many of them) continue to be anti-Semitic.

  • #1146201

    telegrok
    Member

    I had similar qualms about celebrating Thanksgiving, but then I saw so many kosher turkeys in my grocer’s freezer, I figured, if the hashgochos are approving such an increase in turkey production prior to Thanksgiving, they must de facto approve of the holiday.

    Can’t wait to tuck into some turkey and cornbread stuffing!

  • #1146202

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It should be noted that the Thanksgiving proclamation noted above from 1676 has the celebration happening in June, not November.

    I am not convinced that that Thanksgiving celebration has anything to do with the current one. Certainly there were times that Christians had celebrations of giving thanks at various points in their history. Just because one group at one time had such a feast doesn’t mean that (a) it is related to the modern day incarnation of the holiday and (b) that it is forbidden for Jews to do so.

    Washington’s proclamation of Thanksgiving was, likewise, a one time event. Thanksgiving was actually instituted as an American holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and has been observed each year since then. The indication of the Christian deity in his proclamation is where he identifies the year of the proclamation, using the phrase “year of our Lord..,” which was merely common usage without any actual religious significance at the time.

    Recognition of the holiday by the Roman Catholic church (or any other for that matter) is beside the point. If the RC church decided to recognize Independence Day tomorrow, would you tell everyone to stop flying their flags?

    The Wolf (who doesn’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving — or any other day simply because he doesn’t like it.)

    EDITED

  • #1146204

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Thanksgiving, a day to eat turkey and watch football. Atheists love it.

  • #1146205

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thanksgiving, a day to eat turkey and watch football. Atheists love it.

    I guess I’m in trouble no matter what, then. I don’t eat turkey and I’m not a football fan.

    The Wolf

  • #1146206

    cantoresq
    Member

    Rabbi Michael Broyde authored a comprehensive analysis of the issue. He cites both sides of the debate, and essentially concludes that there is upon whom to rely in allowing a celebration of the holiday.

  • #1146207

    myfriend
    Member

    Professor Broyde surely makes some interesting academic observations on the matter. But for halachic conclusions, we rely on Rabbonim.

  • #1146210

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Myfriend,

    how about actually answering cantoresq’s point.

    IOW, if you have a problem with Rabbi Brodye’s opinion on the matter, how about showing us where he’s wrong.

    The Wolf

    EDITED

  • #1146211

    cantoresq
    Member

    Myfriend,

    Rabbi Broyde cites various “Rabbonim,” to use your term, who are matir Thanksgiving observances. Certainly there is no Jewish obligation to celebrate the day. But that’s a far cry from ever being pejorative of those who allow such activity, which is what you were with your post.

    EDITED

  • #1146214

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I like turkey. (That’s the only part of this discussion I’m interested in.)

  • #1146215

    yechezkel89
    Member

    my friend, if you were to know a 100th of what Harav Broyde knows then you would be in good shape. I hope you are aware of the ???? in :??????? ?? that states that anyone who belittles a talmid chachom is an apikoris

  • #1146216

    cherrybim
    Participant

    We celebrate Thanksgiving by using the extra time allotted by the day off to cook a delicious Turkey with all the trimmings for our Shabbos meal the following evening.

  • #1146217

    tzippi
    Member

    Scratching my head here. My BY had a menahel (shlit”a) who was mekurav to one of the gedolei hador. I can’t remember a single year that at least one teacher didn’t say that while we should be grateful every day it is good to have a day to focus on living in this malchus shel chesed, if we had to be somewhere else besides E”Y.

    That said, we didn’t celebrate because my father was makpid on not eating a heavy fleishig meal so close to Shabbos, unless it was a real yom tov.

    But I’ve heard repeatedly that there’s nothing wrong with getting together with family if this a time that is convenient. And think of all the people with non observant family who all have off at the same time and can find a nice, neutral day to get together.

  • #1146218

    myfriend
    Member

    yechez89 – you’re the guy who was mevaze Rav Yosef B. Soloveitchek, so I won’t be taking any lectures from you. As you said, that makes you what you described. Prof. Broyde is a former pulpit rabbi, current professor at Emory, and anyone with semicha is not Daas Torah. He uses academic methodologies, not halachic ones in his essays.

    tzippi – Use any Sunday instead.

  • #1146219

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    and anyone with semicha is not Daas Torah.

    Paint with a broad brush much?

    He uses academic methodologies, not halachic ones in his essays.

    The methodologies are not as important as the results. Once again, I ask you to show me where he was wrong.

    The Wolf

  • #1146220

    myfriend
    Member

    The following is a quote from Igros Moshe, authored by Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l.

    ??”? ????? ??? ??? ??”? ? ???? ? ?”? ?????

    ????? ????? – ???????, ??? ????? ???? ?????? ???”? ?”? ???”? ???? ?”?, ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????, ?????? ?? ???? ????????, ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??????. ??? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? – ???????, ?? ????? ????? ?????

    Explanation:

    Rav Moshe was entertaining the possibility that it would even be forbidden to make a LEGITIMATE Simcha, like a Bar-Mitzvah or Chasunah celebration on Thanksgiving, since it would APPEAR that one is celebrating Thanksgiving!

    To THAT Rav Moshe writes that it isn’t forbidden according to the letter of the law, but still a Ba’al Nefesh shouldn’t do so!

    Then Rav Moshe continues and writes that celebrating or making a Seudah SPECIFICALLY for Thanksgiving is CERTAINLY FORBIDDEN. (???? ?? ????? ?????)

    To summarize:

    One is forbidden to celebrate Thanksgiving or make a special Seudah in its honor!

    However, to schedule a legitimate Simcha, like a Bar-Mitzvah or Chasunah, on Thanksgiving, is Halachikly permitted but a Ba’al Nefesh shouldn’t do even that, and should rather reschedule his legitimate Simcha for some other day!

    Accordingly, it would be forbidden to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

    Because if it is being eaten as a full meal; it is clearly forbidden, since it falls under the category of making a Seudah.

  • #1146221

    QuestionForYou
    Participant

    The first time all colonists celebrated a Thanksgiving was in 1777, when they beat the British in a battle.

    In 1789, George Washington declared a national Thanksgiving day; but it met much opposition:

    First because, why should the problems of a few pilgrims merit a national holiday?

  • #1146222

    QuestionForYou
    Participant

    The first official national Thanksgiving holiday was declared by President Lincoln in 1863. These were his words:

  • #1146223

    QuestionForYou
    Participant

    Jews do not celebrate religious holidays decreed by Chukas Goyim.

    Jews celebrate holidays from the Torah or those ordained by Chazal.

    The other holidays, besides December 25 and January 1, are civil American holidays.

  • #1146224

    tzippi
    Member

    Myfriend, not nogeiah to me, but some people would need Sunday to drive back through the woods and over the river.

  • #1146225

    goodbye
    Member

    R’ Moshe definitely did forbid celebrating Thanksgiving, because of his opinion that there is a general prohibition to add any set day to the calendar that wasn’t put there by the Tora or Chazal. R’ Moshe’s issur was even with the assumption that Thanksgiving was NOT a church holiday, per se`. Rav Avigdor Miller paskened, though, that based on historical fact, Thanksgiving IS a church holiday – the PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH announced in 1789 (much before Lincoln) that Thursday in November would be set aside YEARLY for giving thanks – and is therefore a complete issur to celebrate. Rav Miller got the info from an Encyclopedia…

  • #1146226

    cantoresq
    Member

    Myfriend, your reliance one but one responsum of R. Moshe Feinstein is flawed in light of R. Broydes analysis of the entire corpus of R. Moshe’s statements on the subject. Moreover, R. Yosef dov Soleveitchik, R. Ephraim Greenblatt and R. Eliezer Silver are all matir.

  • #1146227

    ronrsr
    Member

    I always thought of Thanksgiving as the most Jewish of holidays. The early settlers were trying to celebrate Succoth, and what could be more Jewish than gratitude?

  • #1146228

    ronrsr
    Member

    To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island.

    Gentlemen,

    While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.

    The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and happy people.

    The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

    It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

    G. Washington

  • #1146229

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    QuestionForYou,

    A simple question: You call Thanksgiving a religious holiday because Washington and Lincoln decided to mention God in the proclamations. This, according to your reasoning, makes it a religious holiday and therefore forbidden to celebrate. (Please correct me if I’m wrong in my assessment of your position.)

    That being said, do you refrain from handling United States currency because it says “In God We Trust.” Perhaps the money should be forbidden as idolatrous objects?

    Why does the mention of God in the Thanksgiving proclamations make Thanksgiving idolatrous in nature, but the mention of “In God We Trust” on the money does not make it idolatrous in nature?

    The Wolf

  • #1146230

    goodbye
    Member

    “I always thought of Thanksgiving as the most Jewish of holidays. The early settlers were trying to celebrate Succoth, and what could be more Jewish than gratitude?”

    Ronsr, nothing could be more Jewish; but the Jews already have a Succos! The gentiles can have their Succos whenever they want, but ours is when the Tora commands it!

  • #1146231

    yechezkel89
    Member

    my freind I never chas v’sha;om insulted Harav Soloveitchik ZL, the Rav was matir celebrating thankgiving out of hakaras hatov for what america has done for us. it has no religious implications, it’s just a day to show hakaras hatov. and again if everyone knew as much torah as Harav Broyde then we would all be in good shape

  • #1146232

    cherrybim
    Participant

    What if you buy a Thanksgiving turkey but have kavanah for Chanukah instead. Does that make the turkey pigul and you’re, therefore, not yotze Thanksgiving with this turkey?

  • #1146233

    Homeowner
    Member

    Wolf,

    You are right. American money is avodah zarah. Give me all of yours so you sin no longer.

    As I was taught to say in the Borough Park yeshiva I attended,

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

  • #1146234

    so right
    Member

    Did they also teach you to say merry kratsmich?

  • #1146235

    Homeowner
    Member

    so right, no, but while we’re getting personal, on yom tov, do you say the prayer for the government (the one that begins “ha’nosayn teshuos”) or have you composed one for Al Qaeda?

  • #1146237

    ronrsr
    Member

    but, dear goodbye, the Torah doesn’t prohibit us from taking another day in, say, November and using it to focus on our bounty, and express our gratitude for it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, I hope you all have much to be thankful for!

  • #1146238

    goodbye
    Member

    Ronsr, I’ll take R’ Moshe’s opinion on that over yours any day.

    As I wrote before: “R’ Moshe definitely did forbid celebrating Thanksgiving, because of his opinion that there is a general prohibition to add ANY set day to the calendar (even for a good reason) that wasn’t put there by the Tora or Chazal. R’ Moshe’s issur was even with the assumption that Thanksgiving was NOT a church holiday, per se`.”

  • #1146239

    Josh31
    Member

    “Accordingly, it would be forbidden to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.”

    Other Teshuvos have come out that are not as strict.

    But according to the Moshe Rose wing of this coffee room, even using Kaylim (utensils) that had come in contact with turkey in the past are prohibited on the fourth Thursday of November.

  • #1146240

    LBK
    Member

    Maybe a stupid question, but if R’ Moshe held that a Ben Torah shouldn’t make any simchos on thanksgiving, because of the appearance, then why is the Agudah Convention on thanksgiving every year? Isn’t there at least an appearance to some that this is a celebration of thanksgiving?

  • #1146241

    so right
    Member

    The Agudah convention is not a seuda or simcha.

    And Rav Moshe said that a Baal Nefesh shouldn’t make a simcha on Thanksgiving (since someone might think he is celebrating Thanksgiving); not that its assur outright to make a Chasunah or Bar Mitzvah on that day.

  • #1146242

    QuestionForYou
    Participant

    You’re absolutely right, Wolf. Please give away all of your money, so that you don’t have to handle idolatrous objects.

    That having been said, Thanksgiving is called a religious holiday, because Washington and Lincoln declared it as a religious holiday;

    “That we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions. . .”

    “To set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. . .”

    What does designating a special day to thank their god sound like to you?

    Besides the fact that we don’t celebrate non-Jewish religious holidays, don’t we thank Hashem every day for all of the kindnesses he does for us? Without needing a special day to do it?

  • #1146243

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Thanksgiving is American as apple pie. The vast majority of celebrants don’t connect any religious philosophies to the day of football, parade and fressing and will shrug their shoulders when asked if and how they celebrate.

    And I would say that we are m’kadesh the day by having both the Agudah and OU Conventions on Thanksgiving, an in-gathering of numerous Rabbonim and Torah leaders in one place. Wow if for that alone, then it’s worth having Thanksgiving, Dayeinu!

  • #1146244

    goodbye
    Member

    Supporting Jewish celebration of Thanksgiving doesn’t make you a patriot, and opposing it doesn’t make you less of a patriot. There’s a halachic issue here which patriotic Americans like me are concerned about. Thanksgiving – though as American as apple pie – IS a church holiday.

    So, as much fun it may be to celebrate, we have to recognize the Church origins of these goyishe celebrations!

  • #1146245

    shmoolik 1
    Member

    is there a problem with cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes

    it is an opportunity to share a meal with non observant relatives who otherwise would visit on days that it is asur to travel

  • #1146246

    For some reason I am reminded of a picture of a frum family in Israel walking down the street on Purim, every single member dressed in red suits with furry white trim.

    Carry on. (munch munch – mmmm, Empire turkey)

  • #1146247

    goodbye
    Member

    Shmoolik, what’s wrong with chicken/meat and rice/potatoes?

  • #1146248

    twisted
    Member

    I think Washington was one cool guy. He could have been a respected Maggid if born and raised in a different place. On turkeys, I did some reading that raised alarms in my poor head. The modern bird, like its chicken cousin is raised in time and conditions to be mass market profitable. This means a chicken from hatch to market can take no more than seven weeks. The turkeys obviously take somewhat longer, but still rushed so that the weight gain outstrips other critical development, and this leads to a not insignifigant number of birds with underdeveloped circulatory and nervous systems relative to the weight ( non walking and heart attack prone). They are also bred to be front heavy, and due to this, they cannot mate normally, production is completely dependent on AI. I asked a rov about the possible treifa safek, and he did not dismiss it as of zero concern. You would assume that the kashrus operator would screen out sickly specimens, but in the modern mechanized high speed rotary set up with the birds hanging, (and perhaps hung up by a stam worker, is there not room for errors and concern?

  • #1146249

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Didn’t Rav Moshe have multiple teshuvos on Thanksgiving?

    In honor of the coffeeroom fanatics, we aren’t having Turkey on Thursday. We are going to my vegetarian cousins so we are having Baskin Robbins Turkey ice cream cake instead. Turkey will be for Shabbos in heilige Lakewood. Because it was uber cheap 🙂

  • #1146250

    Baskin Robbins Turkey ice cream cake? Please tell me that’s not the flavor! 😛

  • #1146251

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Its just the shape 🙂

  • #1146252

    I have not been on in a while but saw this topic and wanted to clarify something. Read anything from that time, almost anything, and it will have the word “G-d” or another religious term. Read the declaration of independence- “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by THEIR CREATOR with certain unalienable rights…” and that’s just off the cuff…I am sure if I thought harder I would find more.

    Try saying that today in government offices- it was the way they spoke back then. So, all references to religion have to be put into context.

    Thanksgiving is a day just to thank the govt for allowing us to live here. No religious connotations, especially today. Say thank you USA for being a medina of chessed…

    And goodbye- when have people ever taken a transliteration as fact? Israel as a country with its own secular calendar has not been around all that long. I am not saying it isn’t about Sylvester (the cat…=)) but find a better proof. And the 25th and 1st is a whole lot different than Thanksgiving- hey, only in AMERICA do they celebrate turkey day!?!?! Not even where the Anglican Church was founded do they celebrate it! (most cultures do celebrate the 25/1st, so that is different.) It can’t be a church holiday if 3/4 of those who belong to the religion (probably less than 3/4 are american) dont observe it!

    Just a couple of points from someone who is thankful not to have been kicked out of this country yet… and happens to like turkey with cranberry sauce.

  • #1146254

    chesedname
    Member

    this is a good example of what separates a ben torah from a apikoros.

    a ben torah says if that’s what the posuk hador, rav moshe zazal says, that’s what we’ll do, we can try to understand his reasoning, but there is no room for turkey on that day in my house!

    an apikoros says, i don’t see what’s wrong with it, so I’ll eat it, until and unless you convince me not to.

    wouldn’t this be the one thing that’s easy to adhere to? and not spend time looking for heterim? i purposely don’t eat turkey (which i like) to show i listen to gedolim, and proud of it!

  • #1146256

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    this is a good example of what separates a ben torah from a apikoros.

    Let me get this straight… to you, someone is an apikorus if they do they do something that they don’t know is forbidden, or if there are other authorities who permit it?

    Oh, right… you’re the one who said I was an apikorus because I don’t have a positive self-image. I’m *still* not sure which one of the ikkarim that violates. Or this, for that matter.

    The Wolf

  • #1146257

    this is a good example of what separates a ben torah from a apikoros.

    a ben torah says if that’s what the posuk hador, rav moshe zazal says, that’s what we’ll do, we can try to understand his reasoning, but there is no room for turkey on that day in my house!

    an apikoros says, i don’t see what’s wrong with it, so I’ll eat it, until and unless you convince me not to.

    wouldn’t this be the one thing that’s easy to adhere to? and not spend time looking for heterim? i purposely don’t eat turkey (which i like) to show i listen to gedolim, and proud of it!

    🙂

    The Shoyte says I don’t see what is right with it, so I won’t eat it.

    The Apikores doesn’t eat it, philosophising about how this turkey’s life is just as important as a human’s.

    The Avaryan says I love Turkey, so I don’t care if it assur.

    A Ben Torah does research, checks the Poskim, delves into the Teshuvos, and decides on his own what the Mehalech is, and then discusses with his Rov or Rebbe.

    The Am HaAretz hears a teshuva on the internet, and decides that is the final word.

    The Poshit Yid asks his Rov, whether that Rov Paskins like Rav Moshe or Rav Solevatchik is of no concern to him/her.

  • #1146258

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    G@W,

    What do you call the one who doesn’t like turkey to begin with and therefore doesn’t have the schar of resisting the temptation to have turkey on Thanksgiving? 🙂

    The Wolf

  • #1146259

    What do you call the one who doesn’t like turkey to begin with and therefore doesn’t have the schar of resisting the temptation to have turkey on Thanksgiving? 🙂

    Someone who is missing out on the finer things in life.

    Next thing you will tell me is that you don’t drink wine, and can’t enjoy a good steak.

    What sort of Wolf are you!? 😉 Any wolf I know will grab any turkey it can get.

  • #1146260

    cherrybim
    Participant

    “So, as much fun it may be to celebrate, we have to recognize the Church origins of these goyishe celebrations!”

    Ever wonder where the minhag of giving gifts on Chanukah came from?…seems like it came from a church origin holiday to me.

  • #1146261

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Every time I see this thread I get hungry for turkey. I saw a recipe for BBQing a whole turkey.

  • #1146263

    goodbye
    Member

    Wolf, the Tora says that if you DON’T eat blood (“shenafsho shel odom kotzoh bo”) you gain eternal reward for yourself and your descendants… I’d assume the same rule applies here…

  • #1146264

    myfriend
    Member

    Ever wonder where the minhag of giving gifts on Chanukah came from?…seems like it came from a church origin holiday to me.

    It came from Christmas; which is why ehrlich yidden follow Yiddish tradition of giving gelt, and not Christian tradition of gifts.

  • #1146265

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf, the Tora says that if you DON’T eat blood (“shenafsho shel odom kotzoh bo”) you gain eternal reward for yourself and your descendants… I’d assume the same rule applies here…

    Bad example. Have you ever seen a wolf kasher his kill before eating it? 🙂

    The Wolf

  • #1146271

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Chesedname,

    I’ll tell you what… I’d like to bury the hatchet, especially since I conceded to you on the main point on which we were arguing in the other thread (re: cooking on Yom Tov). There’s no point in your being upset over my words when I conceded the point and I doubt you *really* meant it when you called me an apikorus for self-esteem issues anyway.

    So let’s try to bury the hatchet and be civil with each other. If you want to discuss some of our issues in private via email (which, in fact, I would prefer), I authorize the mods to give you the email address that I have registered on these boards (although you could probably find it on your own if you wanted).

    This doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything (or anything), of course. But I’m sure we can disagree with each other respectfully and civilly without resorting to name calling and other insults.

    So, how about it? Bury the hatchet (and not in each other’s necks)?

    The Wolf

  • #1146272

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Next thing you will tell me is that you don’t drink wine, and can’t enjoy a good steak.

    While I have never been drunk in my life, I can say that I do enjoy wine and steak. Sorry to disappoint. 🙂

    The Wolf

  • #1146273

    chesedname
    Member

    wolf

    that’s very kind of you, and very big.

    i have nothing against “you” i just don’t like ppl posting things against halacha, where due to the vast quantity of readers here, many can come out with the wrong halacha.

    why we don’t we switch from “what’s wrong with it” or “it’s not cooking so it’s fine” as a statement of fact, to a question?

    “we can’t cook for them, but can we make the food beforehand?”

    i think that will make everyone happy, especially being there is nothing wrong with a question.

    on a side note, in the infinite wisdom of the moderators, they deleted posts i had, where there was nothing wrong in it, one of them said clearly you’re not an apikoros because you claim to have self-esteem issues. i said you “would be” (never said you are) an apikoros if you had the attitude of, so i’m a rasha who cares.

    hope this all makes sense, with nothing being capitalized.

  • #1146274

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Anyone have a good recipe or method for tasty juicy turkey?

  • #1146275

    Homeowner
    Member

    goodbye, if I am at Yankee Stadium (notice that I didn’t say if you are at Yankee Stadium) may I stand during the singing of “God Bless America?” How about singing along as well?

  • #1146277

    goodbye
    Member

    Homeowner, ABSOLUTELY! In fact, not only MAY you stand, but actually you SHOULD sing along! As I wrote b4, I am a patriot of the USA, and MAY G-D BLESS AMERICA! AND YET you should never celebrate ANY church holidays!

  • #1146278

    minyan gal
    Member

    Goodbye – the point is that Thanksgiving is not a church holiday. It is a secular holiday to give thanks for the freedoms and bounties that you as an American have.

    In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving much earlier – the second Monday in October. As that was several weeks ago, I will volunteer to consume a vast quantity of pumpkin pie with a lot of whipping cream – the real stuff, in order to show respect for the holiday of my American neighbors. (I also just used the American spelling of the word which should be spelled “neighbour” in Canada and any other “British” affiliated country). To those of you that will be indulging in a Thanksgiving meal – b’tayavon.

  • #1146279

    Yanky55
    Member

    Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University who is frequently referred to simply as “the Rav,” also agreed that Thanksgiving was not a Gentile holiday, and ruled that it was permissible to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

    “Indeed, there were instances when Rabbi Soloveitchik implied to his students that he and his family celebrated Thanksgiving, although shiur was always held on Thanksgiving,” said Rabbi Hershel Schachter in his intellectual biography of Rabbi Soloveitchik, Nefesh HaRav.

    According to Dr. Avi Feldblum of Highland Park, NJ, on Thanksgiving day, Rabbi Soloveitchik started his shiur at YU much earlier than usual so that he could be finished in time to catch a plane back to his home in Boston to have a festive meal with his family.

    But just because Thanksgiving was sufficiently important for the Rav to start his shiur early, did not mean that he would end it before completing what he wanted to understand. According to Dr. Feldblum, on Thanksgiving 1976, Rabbi Soloveitchik spent about five hours working through one Tosafot. When his aide passed him a note to remind him about his flight back to Boston, the Rav turned to him and said, “No one can leave here until we have understood what it is that Tosafot is saying.”

  • #1146280

    Homeowner
    Member

    I am thankful that I live in the United States, a country that has enshrined in its Constitution a First Amendment, guaranteeing everyone the Freedoms of Religion, Speech, Press, Assemby and the Right to Petition the Government.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  • #1146281

    so right
    Member

    I am thankful that I live in the United States, a country that allows us to freely practice Judaism, even at the cost of allowing abusive speech, abusive press, and other abusive behaviors activist judges have falsely allowed in the name of the Constitution.

    Good Thursday afternoon.

  • #1146282

    Homeowner
    Member

    so right, when did Chelm get internet service?

  • #1146283

    Helpful
    Member

    About the time you moved there.

  • #1146284

    Josh31
    Member

    Chelm had the internet before Al Gore “invented” it for everyone else.

    Based upon this thread Chelm is now in the US, and really should be called New Chelm.

  • #1146285

    Helpful
    Member

    Josh: You’d make a wonderful Mayor of that town!

  • #1146286

    charliehall
    Member

    “Professor Broyde surely makes some interesting academic observations on the matter. But for halachic conclusions, we rely on Rabbonim. “

    Professor Broyde is also Rabbi Broyde — a very distinguished member of the Rabbonim and a Dayan on the Beit Din of America.

    “I like turkey. (That’s the only part of this discussion I’m interested in.) “

    That itself is a shilah! We had no mesorah for turkey since it is a bird native to North America.

  • #1146287

    charliehall
    Member

    Those who asur Thanksgiving are probably unaware of the history of Jewish observance of the holiday. The facts are that the small Jewish community in America enthusiastically endorsed the holiday immediately after President Washington’s 1789 proclamation. I have a copy of the order of service in New York (then the capital) at the still existing (and still orthodox) Congregation Shearith Israel on Thursday, November 26, 1789, along with the sermon that was given that day. The service skipped tachanun, and added many additional psalms along with a prayer for the government (in English!). The sermon by Chazzan Gershom Mendes Seixas — a drash on Mizmor L’Todah — was so well received that it was published a few weeks later. That made it, and not any sermon by a Christian, the first Thanksgiving Day sermon published in America! Jews have been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1789; it probably has the status of a local chag.

    Unfortnately the order of service and sermon don’t appear to be online except on my facebook page in a photo album. (I scanned it in; they are in the public domain.)

  • #1146288

    charliehall
    Member

    Complete text of the first Thanksgiving proclamation by President Washington:


    General Thanksgiving

    By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America

    A PROCLAMATION

    WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

    NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

    And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

    GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

    (signed) G. Washington

  • #1146289

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Indeed turkeys are a sheilah. I think we don’t really know why we eat them.

    To me, this is an affirmation of mesorah. We eat turkeys because our fathers did and their fathers did, because the rabbonim a few hundred years ago said they could. Even though we find that decision suspect, we abide by it.

  • #1146290

    BP Zaideh
    Member

    How Do We Know Turkey Is Kosher? – Was Columbus The First Jew in America?

    The Shulchan Aruch (YD 82:3) gives simanim of a kosher bird, however the Rema argues and says that without a mesora we cannot eat any birds even if it has simanim. The question that many poskim discuss is how can we eat Turkey, which is an American bird that was transported back to Europe after the discovery of America, and cannot possibly have any mesora.

    The Darkei Teshuva (YD 82:26) considers a number of explanations from various poskim. Regarding the fact that there was a mesora in India for Turkey, he says that the Rashba holds that one country cannot rely on another country’s mesora. Another explanation that he brings from the Meishiv Davar is that the Rema banned any bird without a mesora only if it is newly discovered. Since Turkey had been eaten for many years before the question came up, we cannot question our predecessors logic in permitting it, even if they did not have a mesora, and we cannot assur it and spread a bad name on them.

    He also brings the Arugas HaBosem that says that the Rema only forbid birds whose simanim are not 100% guaranteed, but since we have watched Turkeys now for hundred of years and they without a doubt possess all the simanim without exception, we can eat it without a mesora.

    The Sichas Chulin in an admittedly wild theory says that during the time of the exile of the Aseres HaShevatim, some of them ended up in America. They had a Mesora on Turkey and passed it on to the exiles of the Spanish inquisition, who passed it back to Europe.

    Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions. http://revach.net/article.php?id=1398

  • #1146291

    BP Zaideh
    Member

    I have proof that thanksgiving is not a religious holiday

    ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

    A major Chasidish B”HM scheduled a special shiur for this afternoon. Had it been a religious holiday wouldn’t it have the same status as ???? ??? No need to comment. I know that this is totally off the wall, which is not so uncommon in the CR.

  • #1146292

    metrodriver
    Member

    Charliehall; On the question if turkey is Muttar, due to lack of Mesorah. There has been a discussion about this subject about 150 Years ago by the most prominent Poskim of that generation. The conclusion was that it is Muttar. Here we are. As far as making a party to celebrate this day specifically. Reb Moshe Feinstein ZTZ”L concludes that it is Assur. But eating turkey on this day in itself is not prohibited by any Posek. Unlike some Junior talmidei Chachamim who misinterpreted the words of R. Moshe.:

  • #1146294

    cantoresq
    Member

    Does it not say in Tehilim “Hodu LaHashem ki tov, ki leolam chasdo?” A turkey unto G-d for he (the turkey, not G-d) is good, His (G-d’s not the turkey) kindness is everlasting. How much more proof do we need?

  • #1146295

    eclipse
    Member

    you can even eat a “turkeya gedolah” if you cut it into “sh’vorim” and share it.It’s ‘true-ah!”

  • #1146296

    Miriam
    Member

    As Jews we should be thankful for everything we have every single day, not just 1 particular day. After all the first thing we do when we open our eyes each morning is thank Hashem with Modei Ani.

  • #1146297

    charliehall
    Member

    “Since Turkey had been eaten for many years before the question came up”

    Actually that is not true; no Jew ever saw a turkey until 1493. The Rema lived from 1520 to 1572.

    “A turkey unto G-d”

    LOL! The “hodu” as applied to the bird comes from India, from where it was mistakenly thought to have originated. (“Hodu” is also the Hebrew word for India, from “Hindu”. You find the word in Megillat Esther.)

    Rabbi Ari Z. Zivotofsky has a nice article on the kashrut issues regarding turkey; it was published in *Journal of Halachah and Contemporary Society* in 1998 and can be found through a quick internet search. As always, CYLOR.

  • #1146298

    Homeowner
    Member

    saftala, you said,

    As Jews we should be thankful for everything we have every single day, not just 1 particular day. After all the first thing we do when we open our eyes each morning is thank Hashem with Modei Ani.

    Don’t you say “sheh’hech’eh’yanu?” If, so, why do you say it specifically on Yom Tov and not every single day as well (barring some special reason)?

  • #1146299

    homeowner i dont understand the point you are trying to make.

    are you saying we shouldnt be thankful every day?

    are you saying modeh ani is not a daily expression of thanks?

    do you really think the fact that we only say shehechyanu on particular special days as instituted by Chazal that this indicates on other days we do not express our gratitude in many other ways?

    do you have a point or are you just trying to find some fault in saftalas very sweet post?

  • #1146300

    “Since Turkey had been eaten for many years before the question came up” Actually that is not true; no Jew ever saw a turkey until 1493. The Rema lived from 1520 to 1572.

    Whoever said that the question of “Tuskey” came to the Rema?

    The issue is whether the turkey ???? comes under the Rema’s guidelines since it was eaten for so many years before someone questioned it.

  • #1146301

    Helpful
    Member

    Homeowner, what is the name of the posek who has the final word in your life?

    Does he disagree with Rav Moshe vis-a-vis celebrating Thanksgiving?

  • #1146302

    Homeowner
    Member

    Moderator-80, you misunderstood my point. Saftala argued that we are thankful to Hashem every day and therefore no one day is more “special” than another. I pointed out that while indeed we are all thankful every day, on certain days we say more blessings than on other days and on Yom Tov we say a special blessing to Hashem for enabling us to reach that day.

    The “fault” such as you characterize it, is in logic. What I have said is correct as far as Halacha is concerned. I presume we are allowed to disagree as far as logic.

  • #1146303

    i see

    thanks for clarifying

  • #1146304

    lesschumras
    Participant

    If the premise for RebMoshe’s psak was that Thanksgiving is a church holiday, then the psak is wrong. It is not a church holiday.

  • #1146305

    so right
    Member

    That isn’t the basis for Rav Moshe’s psak I believe, but Thanksgiving is a religious holiday nevertheless.

  • #1146307

    so right
    Member

    charlie, how long have you been praying in Avi Weiss’ synagogue?

  • #1146308

    lesschumras
    Participant

    so right,

    If it so important for you to believe it is, that’s your right. By the way if it is not because he thought it was a religious holiday, what is the difference between Thanksgiving and any holiday legislated by the government?

  • #1146309

    lesschumras
    Participant

    As you can see below, Thanksgiving Day has been moved aboutconsiderably, and for different reasons. When Roosevelt proposed moving he date, the Republicans accused him of insulting ABRAHAM LINCOLN, not their deity because the holiday was established by Lincoln, not a church

    1939 to 1941

    Abraham Lincoln’s successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with this tradition.[18] November had five Thursdays that year (instead of the usual four), and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. Although many popular histories state otherwise, he made clear that his plan was to establish the holiday on the next-to-last Thursday in the month instead of the last one. With the country still in the midst of The Great Depression, Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr., founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy’s), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving back a week to expand the shopping season.[19]

    Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to Nov. 30 as the “Republican Thanksgiving” and Nov. 23 as the “Democratic Thanksgiving” or “Franksgiving”.[20] Regardless of the politics, many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt’s change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt’s recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas, could not decide and took both days as government holidays.

    In 1940 and 1941, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt declared the third one as Thanksgiving. As in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date.

    1942 to present

    President Truman receiving a Thanksgiving turkey from members of the Poultry and Egg National Board and other representatives of the turkey industry, outside the White House. (November 16, 1949)On October 6, 1941, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942. However, in December of that year the Senate passed an amendment to the resolution that split the difference by requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, which was sometimes the last Thursday and sometimes (less frequently) the next to last.[21] On December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law.

  • #1146310

    minyan gal
    Member

    “Thanksgiving is a religious holiday nevertheless. “

    so right, you are so wrong. Thanksgiving is a national holiday just like Veterans/Remeberance Day. On both holidays, different religious institutions offer special services or prayers during a service. One holiday is to give thanks for the bounty and freedoms that we enjoy and the other thanks those who gave their lives to preserve those freedoms. Both of these occasions apply equally to all citizens – they are totally secular holidays.

  • #1146311

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Just out of curiosity:

    For those who hold that Thanksgiving is a religious holiday because the proclamation mentions God, would you also hold that Independence Day is also a religious holiday?

    The Declaration of Independence makes mention of God a few times as well, including in the opening paragraph:

    and in the closing paragraph:

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

    So, why is Thanksgiving forbidden to celebrate, but Independence Day is okay?

    The Wolf

  • #1146312

    QuestionForYou
    Participant

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day are all civil American holidays, established to either honor Americans who gave outstanding service to the United States; or, as in the case of Independence Day, to celebrate the independence of the U.S. from Britain.

    Thanksgiving Day was established to specifically give thanks to their god, not just to mention their god in the proclamation.

  • #1146313

    ronrsr
    Member

    all turkeys where snoods – the fleshy protuberance that hangs from their beak is called such. Perhaps they really are originally jewish?

  • #1146314

    charliehall
    Member

    Wolf,

    Interestingly, despite all the references to God and Natural Law in the Declaration of Independence which he largely wrote, Jefferson was widely derided during his lifetime as a non-believer.

  • #1146316

    anon for this
    Participant

    charliehall,

    Jefferson was actually a deist (like Franklin), I thought, but to Christians he might’ve seemed to be an unbeliever.

    Also, it’s interesting to note that despite his personal beliefs, Washington did not consider the United States to be a Christian nation (see Treaty of Tripoli).

  • #1146317

    charliehall
    Member

    anon,

    Correct, Washington did not believe the US to be a Christian nation; he respected the separation of church and state. Personally he was an active lay Anglican/Episcopalian. He was a member of the Vestry in colonial times, which had the very important role of distributing communal poor funds. His letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport is an amazing statement of acceptance of a minority religion; one has to go all the way back to the Roman Empire to find something similar. (And as we all know, Rome did not always practice what it preached.)

    Jefferson might be described as a Deist, but even that isn’t clear. He went to great lengths to disguise his actual religious views. He clearly was not a trinitarian Christian and he edited his own version of the Christian gospels, taking out everything that looked supernatural to him. Ironically, some of the worst attacks against him came during the 1800 Presidential election — his opponent John Adams was clearly a Unitarian heretic (and didn’t hide that fact).

    Here is the text of Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli as ratified by the US Senate:

    Since under the US Constitution treaties become the law of the land, this language would appear to still be in effect.

    FWIW, Tripoli is now part of Libya.

  • #1146319

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    I heard a “vort” over my Tofurkey this year (my aunt made Tofurkey AND we had turkey ice cream).

    Seudat Hodaah = Meal of Thanks

    Tarnigol Hodu – Turkey

    Hodu – India

    Thanksgiving in American – Turkey to celebrate early survival with Indians!*

    *Yes, I realize they are native Americans, not people from India. Go with the joke.

  • #1146323

    mosherose
    Member

    “So, why is Thanksgiving forbidden to celebrate, but Independence Day is okay?”

    Becuz the gedolim said we should celebrate July 4th and we shouldnt celebrate Thanksgiving. That the only reason anyone ever needs.

  • #1146324

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I agree with mosherose? I do. HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPP!

  • #1146325

    Homeowner
    Member

    mosherose, would that be all of the gedolim? “Kulee alma, lo plegee?”

  • #1146329

    charliehall
    Member

    “Becuz the gedolim said “

    SOME of the gedolim. Other gedolim celebrated it, as have other Jews in America for 221 years.

  • #1146330

    oomis
    Member

    This entire thread is getting overblown. There is no issur on getting together with family on a day when most people are off from work, and eating a nice dinner together. SO WHAT if it’s turkey??? Our mesorah is that turkey is kosher, and if we follow the mesorah for everything else, this too should be accepted without further discussion. You don’t want to eat it? Don’t. Mesorah/halacha says that giraffe is also a kosher animal. But if someone was stupid enough to try to shecht one (or could not care less about wild life conservation), I still would not eat it, no matter how it was prepared.

    As to the celebration aspect, we give thanks every day to H”KBH for everything in our lives. We have every right and CHIYUV to give Him thanks for allowing us to live in a country that extends religious freedom to us, a freedom we clearly take for granted, if we even have to discuss this issue. Even if it is a secular holiday, meaning it is not a HOLY day, it is a day that has meaning for us all, and is a reminder to stop and smell the roses along the way, and not take everything we have here for granted. How many of us DO that every day, even as we say Modeh Ani?

    There is nothing wrong with Thanksgiving. It’s not Oso Ish-related

    or a church celebration, either, in nature. I wish people who object could just look at it a little more objectively.

  • #1146331

    I wish people who object could just look at it a little more objectively.

    YOU are the one looking at it subjectively.

    objectively the only question is what do the Poskim and Gedolim tell us is the correct behavior re this matter.

    they HAVE spoken about this because there are important Halachic considerations and on this there is a difference of opinion.

    YOU on the other hand have determined the correct course of action based on your own personal analysis.

  • #1146332

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Popa, that means you are automatically wrong.

    Mod80, some poskim have said don’t celebrate. Some say muttar.

    Its one thing to say “My Rav says don’t celebrate” and its another to day “Assur gamur for every situtation no matter who your Rav is.”

    Anyway, I didn’t have any real Turkey this thanksgiving. Does that make me holy?

  • #1146333

    Anyway, I didn’t have any real Turkey this thanksgiving. Does that make me holy?

    could be…

    unless you had pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce

  • #1146334

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    No I did not. They did serve pumpkin pie but I didn’t eat it.

    I did have Turkey on Shabbos though, but that’s the Jewish tradition of being cheap 🙂

  • #1146335

    Health
    Participant

    Who eats turkey soup?

  • #1146336

    What is turkey soup? Is there such a thing?

  • #1146337

    Now the question is: Is a non-denominational religious holiday permitted for Jews to celebrate?

  • #1146339

    R’ Moshe’s position was quoted in this thread. But the thing is that those quoting him, didn’t provide any sources and didn’t note that he discussed it multiple times, and he did not say the same thing each time. I have seen at least four teshuvos where he discusses it; there may be more (though I doubt it because the second one references the first one and the third one references the fourth one and the fourth one references the second and third and no others are referenced).

    Even Ha’ezer 2:13

    Orach Chaim 5:20:6

    Yoreh Deiah 4:11

    Yoreh Deiah 4:12

  • #1146340

    oomis
    Member

    Are youi thankful to not live in countries where our ancestors were persecuted? Are you thankful to be able to have the freedom to be a frum Yid, without fear of the government arresting you? Are you thankful that your children are able to get a Yeshivah education, and don’t have to play dreidel all day, so as to not appear to be learning Torah? Are you thankful to be able to become educated, get married, earn parnassah,have children, get good medical care, daven in Shul, be able to post in the CR when you wish? Are you thankful to even HAVE a CR in which to post openly?

    Then EAT the stupid turkey with or without stuffing, and have hakoras hatov of SOME type for a country that encourages all of the above. It is not a religious thing for US, even if it is for others in this country, though one can argue that being able to be makir tov is a fundamental pillar of Judaism. This nation was founded on so many Torah principles, and the very first Thanksgiving was probably modeled on a Succos meal. But whether or not that is so, we have much for which to be grateful, in spite of the things we might want to see done differently here. If we rally against those things, at least we won’t be dragged away and shot. And for THAT I am MOST grateful.

  • #1146343

    Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro shlit”a writes that Rav Moshe tz”l was possibly misinformed about the origins of the holiday. Search “beis medrash of bayswater thanksgiving”

    Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer shlit”a was asked a similar question and responded it was not a problem. Search “dinonline thanksgiving rabbi” (mods won’t let me post links)

  • #1146344

    “To set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. . .”

    What does designating a special day to thank their god sound like to you?

    from QuestionForYou

    But the problem with that is that Lincoln said the holiday should be for all americans. Not all americans were christians, some were jewish. Therefore it is not for any specific religion.

  • #1146345

    dullradiance
    Member

    Not to be too picky, but there was a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving issued by John Hanson, while serving as President of the Continental Congress, on October 11, 1782. The Day of Thanksgiving took place on November 28, 1782.

    Geo. Washington was the first president elected after the constitution was ratified. The USA had a different form of government from July 4, 1776 until December 1787.

    Feel free to search “president hanson thanksgiving”

  • #1146346

    TheGoq
    Participant

    When I was growing up oot we went ever year to my parents friends house for thanksgiving every single year, were my parents chas veshalom not following Daas Torah? no, they and their friends were just normal everyday yidden living in America’s heartland, i say this with great conviction not because they were my parents they were frumme yidden in every sense of the word true Torah Jews but back then things were no so farfrumt that everything had to be outlawed and banned we had thanksgiving dinner with our friends because it was normal to do so.

  • #1146347

    Supporting Jewish celebration of Thanksgiving doesn’t make you a patriot, and opposing it doesn’t make you less of a patriot. There’s a halachic issue here which patriotic Americans like me are concerned about. Thanksgiving – though as American as apple pie – IS a church holiday.

    Explain why it is a Church Holiday. What is your defenition of a church holiday? This holiday was started by an American president to give thanks.

    Though if you look at the writings of Sarah Josepha Hale (aka the godmother of thanksgiving) it does seem pretty Christian:

    Let me qoute:

    “THE FOURTH OF JULY is the exponent of independence and civil

    freedom. THANKSGIVING DAY is the national pledge of Christian faith..”

    That sounds Christian but look at this quote:

    “All sects and creeds who take the Bible as their rule of

    faith and morals could unite in such a festival. The Jews, also, who find the direct command

    for a feast at the ingathering of harvest, would gladly join in this Thanksgiving”

    Explicit includence for Jews. Seems pretty interesting.

  • #1146348

    Interesting is that Governor John W. Geary of Pennsylvania, in 1868, had his own Thanksgiving proclomation. In it, it was written:

    “our paths through life may be directed by the example and instructions of the Redeemer and “Let us thank Him with Christian humility for health and prosperity”

    The Jews in Pennsylvania were upset and wrote against it.

    In The Occident,a jewish newspaper, they wrote that Geary “apparently intended to exclude Israelites” . Geary did not retract. Maybe it was sort of Christian.

  • #1146349

    I wonder that even if Thanksgiving itself is permitted is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade forbidden? It originally started out as an Xmis parade. Probably not, though.

  • #1146350

    I heard that if Jews and goyim start a custom together it can’t be chukas hagoy. Does anybody have a source for that?

  • #1146351

    oomis
    Member

    I think some people make way to much out of this. Most people are off from work, families have an opportunity to eat together AND they can drive over and go home. Unless you have a dislike of turkey, it’s delicious, low-fat, and very good for you.

    I serve it often for yomim tovim or if I have company coming over when it’s not a yom tov. You don’t want to make a special meal that day? So DON’T! It has no intrinsic religious value, other than to be a general day of thanks to G-d. We should do that every day, and we do. It marks no religious action (unlike the winter non-Jewish holiday which is based in pagan roots), it is generic in nature, and too much is being invested in trashing it. Do we not have more important things to worry about?

  • #1146352

    YES, Hakaras Hatov is very Jewish.

  • #1146353

    Even if Thanksgiving itself is problematic, most customs of it are secular, I think. Turkey was a popular food then, native in America. Football is secular. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is secular (except Santa). Now the things that may be religious could be the meal. Most say grace. Thanksgiving is not so religious but it does have a religious theme.

  • #1146354

    oomis
    Member

    Jewish thinker – B”H that the Goyishe velt finds a day to say grace once a year (though to be fair, religious non-Jew often DO say grace at their meals). If turkey was abundant in the New World, and it was, it makes sense that it was eaten, and the fact that it is a large bird, made it economical for the Pilgrims to feed a large family with one turkey. That’s probably why it was so popular.

    On Thanksgiving, we do not see and religious symbols in the media, in the decorations, etc. The Pilgrims came here searching for freedom from religious persecution (sound familiar?), and as Jews we can and should identify with that. We came to the US for similar reasons after WWII. So we are very much a nation of pilgrims, too.

  • #1146358

    Now the question is: Is a non-denominational religious holiday permitted for Jews to celebrate?”

    This is one of my posts above. I was quoting an earlier post and commenting on it, however I did not use the quotation font/sidebar so this is how it should really look:

    Now the question is: Is a non-denominational religious holiday permitted for Jews to celebrate?

  • #1146359

    lesschumras
    Participant

    When it comes to Medicaid, Section 8 benefits, school and, school bussing etc, we’re there wildly pointing to ourselves screaming ” I’m an American’ “. However, when it comes to a purely American, secular holiday like Thanksgiving, we go through contortion z to prove it’s a religious holiday.

    The Pilgrim story is a myth. The first official Thanksgiving celebrated by the United States under the Constitution, was declared by the first Congress,meeting in lower Manhattan. Roger Sherman of Connecticut wanted to declare a national day of Thanksgiving to thank G-d for providing a new government under the Constitution Southern Congressman objected, as they felt this was an act of Kings and they had just thrown off the rule of a king. Sherman responded that he wasn’t emulating European royalty but instead, King Solomon. Just as Solomon thanked G-d at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, they should thank G-d for the Constitution. The Southerners replied that they could emulate Solomon and voted for the resolution.

    So, not only did Judaism play a deciding role, the Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue was an invited speaker. To commemorate this, since the 1780’s the shul has said special tfillos every Thanksgiving since.

  • #1146360

    Avi K
    Participant

    Actually, one could say that it is a Jewish custom adopted by gentiles – a seudat hodaya. Rav Soloveich celebrated Thanksgiving himself and Rav Moshe permitted it. Others were machmir. See “Thanksgiving: Harmless Holiday or Chukos HaGoyim” on the Ohr Sameach website.

  • #1146361

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    LC

    There are rabbanim who forbid celebrating July 4th because its Chukas HaGoyim

  • #1146362

    nfgo3
    Member

    Re Jewish Thinker’s last post: Here is a better question: Why do you phrase your question backwards? Would it not be better to phrase your question thus: “Are Jews permitted to celebrate a non-denominational religious holiday?” Holidays are not permitted, people are.

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