- This topic has 52 replies, 31 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 7 months ago by mazca.
November 27, 2008 1:32 am at 1:32 am #588756zevi8Member
I was curious as to how many people here celebrate Thanksgiving. Growing up, we did not celebrate it but i do now. I personally think that it is a very good thing to do. Giving thanks is a very jewish thing to do. I know you give thanks every day when davening etc.. but why are some people so against celebrating Thanksgiving? The holiday is about giving thanks to God. I would like to hear opinions on this.November 27, 2008 2:13 am at 2:13 am #664233
We have always celebrated Thanksgiving as an American holiday out of thanks to Hashem and this country of ours, where Jews could be Jews without fear of pogroms. I thank Hashem EVERY day for the countless brachas He gives me, but it is simply a matter of hakoras hatov to this nation which was founded on religious and personal freedom, to mark the day in some fashion. we love turkey, so it’s a no-brainer. By the way, the national language of the USA was almost Hebrew. The Christian Governor Bradford was a student of the Bible in its original Hebrew, and was convinced that the New World should follow the Jewish Bible very closely, or so I have been told.November 27, 2008 2:16 am at 2:16 am #664234tzippiMember
I think that gratitude is definitely appropriate (we are yehudim, after all 😉 and it is definitely in order to discuss in schools and with family what a bracha a medina shel chesed is, a chance to catch our breaths collectively while in galus. But we always saved turkey for Purim; my father doesn’t like having a fleishig supper on Thursday unless it was yom tov or a seudas mitzvah, and I continue that myself.November 27, 2008 2:24 am at 2:24 am #664235Bais Yaakov maydelParticipant
i do not officially “observe” thanksgiving–i dont have a turkey-dinner—but i do reflect on all the good that America has bestowed upon the Jews in America and in Israel, Baruch Hashem.
i think its important to recognize.
happy thanksgivingNovember 27, 2008 2:34 am at 2:34 am #664236shindyMember
I think that celebrating Thankgiving is lovely, although I didn’t grow up with it. I just find that having company Thursday and then cleaning up after and getting the house in order for shabbos too dificult. My kids have a full day of school on Thanksgiving, so it means pulling them out of school. Now if Thanksgiving was on a sunday that would be much better for me!November 27, 2008 2:52 am at 2:52 am #664237Bais Yaakov maydelParticipant
im still in school. and i have off thursday+friday, so yes, i am definitely grateful for that much-neede break, especially b/c i am up late posting on YWN rather than doing some constructive and maybe overdue workNovember 27, 2008 3:13 am at 3:13 am #664238asdfghjklParticipant
once in my life i did!!! my grandparents got a free turkey at shoprite!!!November 27, 2008 3:26 am at 3:26 am #664239
I make enough food for Thanksgiving that a substantial portion is taken off and set aside for Shabbos. Generally, we do not eat a fleishig meal on a Thirsday night, but this is the exception. I serve Turkey at other times during the year, mostly for a Yom Tov, or when we have guests that have not been over for a while (Otherwise Shabbos is chicken, cholent, once in a while a roast that’s on sale).November 27, 2008 5:09 am at 5:09 am #664240Will HillParticipant
Thanksgiving is the least problematic of goyish holidays to appreciate; yet a Yid must not “celebrate” it (e.g. with a seuda.)November 27, 2008 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #664241notpashutMember
R’ Moshe has a t’shuva about Thanksgiving but I can’t remember what he says, although I’m pretty darn sure he doesn’t say that everyone should have a Turkey seuda.
Just a little riddle for all you riddle folks – Why didn’t R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky eat turkey for Thanksgiving?
Don’t try to think of an answer, either you know it or you don’t.November 27, 2008 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #664242
Daas Torah would disagree. R’ Moshe says:
On the issue of joining with those who think that Thanksgiving is like a holiday to eat a meal: since it is clear that according to their religious law books this day is not mentioned as a religious holiday and that one is not obligated in a meal [according to Gentile religious law] and since this is a day of remembrance to citizens of this country, when they came to reside here either now or earlier, halacha sees no prohibition in celebrating with a meal or with the eating of turkey. One sees similar to this in Kiddushin 66 that Yanai the king made a party after the conquest of kochlet in the desert and they ate vegetables as a remembrance.
As someone who calls for adherence to Daas Torah regardless of whether it makes sense to you, I suggest you retract or modify that statement.November 27, 2008 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #664243
Edit: this is not to say that one *must* celebrate, it is only to say that there is certainly no problem with those who see fit to celebrate the history of our country.November 27, 2008 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #664244NobodyMember
Notpashut – I believe this is in line with his family Minhag not to eat Turkey. I think this minhag also appears amongst some Belz families as well.November 27, 2008 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #664245
I know the Kamenetsky family, and they did not eat turkey, because their family holds the tradition that it is a safek if a turkey is a kosher bird. At least, that is what R’ Yaakov ZT”L’s great-grandson told us when he was a guest in our home. Fortunately, I had not prepared turkey for that Shabbos, but it came out in conversation, when the young man complimented my cooking and I mentioned that I had originally planned to make turkey, but hadn’t purchased one in time to make it for that Shabbos. He told me, gam zu l’tovah, because in his family they do not eat turkey, because they hold to the mesora that turkey is a safek.November 27, 2008 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #664246notpashutMember
You got it!November 27, 2008 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #664247jewishfeminist02Member
I never understood why Thanksgiving was so turkey-centered. The Pilgrims ate a lot more than just turkey in the New World! Maybe that’s just my vegetarian sensibilities getting offended 🙂
Anyway, I am in E”Y right now so I am not celebrating Thanksgiving. I overheard one girl say poutily at dinner earlier tonight, “It’s not Thanksgiving without pie!” Okay, so it’s not Thanksgiving. We’re in Israel, for goodness’ sake!
Growing up, I never davka celebrated Thanksgiving but sometimes my aunt and uncle would invite us over for a meal, and I think my Bubbe once took us out to a restaurant before she fell ill. It was just never a big thing with my immediate family. I definitely feel grateful to America for the religious tolerance it has provided; imagine if I had been born in 1490 Spain instead of 1990 America! But I don’t see it as being unpatriotic if I don’t have a big meal on Thanksgiving.November 28, 2008 2:09 am at 2:09 am #664248Will HillParticipant
illini07, if your quote is accurate then I stand corrected in that it is permissible (just as having a cotton candy party would not be against any religious laws.)December 2, 2008 6:11 am at 6:11 am #664249labochurMember
R’ MOshe has three tshuvos. ONe he says it’s asur, the other he says mutar, and the third he was asked why he was soser himself. He ends up saying that one, in his opinion, should not, but it’s mashma that there is a tsad to say that it’s mutar. It comes out that it’s better not to, but if one has to he could. (But I guess it’s too late now!)December 2, 2008 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #664250
Jfem – Turkey was a “new invention” to the Pilgrims, as were about 90% of the vegetables that we eat today. Turkey, pumpkins, potatoes, maize, etc did not exist in Europe – just like horses did not exist in America until the Spanish brought them over. I would guess that this is why we make a big deal over those foods on Thanksgiving – and since most people would serve meat for their main dish (most ppl are not vegitarians), and turkey is the only meat on that list, the main course at a Thanksgiving dinner is turkey.December 2, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #664251
You may be correct that turkey, pumpkins, and maize were not native to Europe. But I’m certain potatoes were. They were a staple in Ireland; that’s why the potato blight in 1845 hit so hard and changed history. Maybe you are thinking of sweet potatoes?December 2, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #664252
Did you say 1845?December 2, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #664253
Wow. That posted fast.
Anyway, I’ll assume you were being inquisitive rather than argumentative. You are incorrect. If you do a bit of research you will see why. However, if YW allows me to post this link, you can piggyback off this source:
Or, you can read Wikipedia (and check sources!!! so that you don’t end up like some people here who think that cancer can be cured with Tincturn).December 2, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #664254
labochur:December 2, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm #664255
I researched further and found potatoes were grown in Europe beginning in the late 1500s (they were native to Peru). So by the time the first Thanksgiving was celebrated they were common in many parts of Europe, and a staple in Ireland. In fact, Irish immigrants brought potatoes to North America in the 1700s.
So you are correct in that potatoes are not native to Europe, but they were actually grown in Europe before the first Thanksgiving. I still think you meant to write “sweet potatoes” and not “potatoes” on that list of foods that were new to the Pilgrims.
I know that the Irish potato famine happened 200 years after the first Thanksgiving. But I mentioned it because that’s what made me think that in order for potatoes to have become such an important staple in Ireland (so much so that a blight in this one crop caused massive starvation and emigration) it’s likely that potatoes had been grown there for some time by then.December 3, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am #664256JAPPMember
In my opinion,one is able to partake in a turkey festival if one doesnt have intentions to be part of “thanksgiving”December 3, 2008 1:06 am at 1:06 am #664257JosephParticipant
squeak, The Great Famine of 1845 (in Ireland.)December 3, 2008 2:35 am at 2:35 am #664258
I wrote my previous post in response to you post “1845”
I followed your link. But the following link indicated that, as I mentioned before, Irish immigrants introduced potatoes (not sweet potatoes) to America, though as you noted they’d been brought to Spain from PeruDecember 3, 2008 2:52 am at 2:52 am #664259
I hit return too soon on my previous post.
I followed your link. It indicates that Spanish conquistadors found potatoes in Peru in the 1500’s and introduced them to Europe. Then the potato was brought from Europe to the American colonies. According to the source you linked, Benjamin Franklin (who lived about 100 years after the first Thanksgiving) introduced the potato to the colonies. Thus, as I said before, the potato was cultivated in Europe before the Pilgrims reached America. So I’m not sure how you figure that I was incorrect.December 4, 2008 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #664260amichaiParticipant
aish.com had great articles on thanksgiving, weather you celebrate it or not.January 2, 2009 3:32 am at 3:32 am #664261YCBMember
thanksgiving is dumb!!January 2, 2009 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #664262
??January 2, 2009 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #664263abcdParticipant
Care to explain why you think that way, YCB?October 29, 2009 12:36 am at 12:36 am #664264Torah LoverMember
The crazy thing is that the goyim pick one day out of the whole year to say thank you to Hashem. We say thank you to Hashem all the time, like when we daven and say Brachohs, ect. We are in galus, the Geulah is near. And then we will really have to say a big thank you to Hashem.October 29, 2009 4:35 am at 4:35 am #664265
We always celebrated Thanksgiving, in the traditional American manner, with a Turkey and the family gathered together.
It is not truly a Christian Holiday, but rather a Jewish Holiday (Succoth) that the Pilgrims were trying to celebrate. They got most of the themes correct.
It is about gratitude for the bounty we have been given. This seems like a very Jewish theme to me.
We need to be grateful that most employers in the country recognize and give the day off for this, the most Jewish of the secular American holidays, even though they got the dates wrong.
P.S. I do not feel the same way about Halloween or Valentine’s day.October 29, 2009 5:44 am at 5:44 am #664266starwolfMember
Halloween had its origins as a pagan holiday.
Valentine’s day, as currently celebrated, is an invention of the greeting-card companies–but it originally was yet another saint’s day in the church calender.
Thanksgiving is either of those–a truly secular, American holiday.October 29, 2009 6:01 am at 6:01 am #664267
And the Fourth of July (Independence Day), too, celebrates something worth celebrating. Veterans Day (originally Armistice Day), Memorial Day and perhaps Labor Day, too.
I can’t believe Halloween has become such a big holiday in America over the last 20 years. It is now the 2nd biggest spending holiday of all.October 29, 2009 7:25 am at 7:25 am #664268
ronsr and starwolf: There are many Christian churches who hold Thanksgiving Day services, complete with special Thanksgiving hymns.
If you’re looking for the quintessential secular, American holiday, try Labor Day. It was made up because workers didn’t have any days off between July 4th and Thanksgiving.October 29, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #664269
It is about gratitude for the bounty we have been given. This seems like a very Jewish theme to me.
But here’s the problem. People will say, “What’s wrong with Thanksgiving? It’s an entire day set aside to give thanks to Hashem.”
To which I usually reply, “And what do you do the other 364?”October 29, 2009 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm #664270
ronsr, you wrote: “It is not truly a Christian Holiday, but rather a Jewish Holiday (Succoth) that the Pilgrims were trying to celebrate. They got most of the themes correct.”
What is your source for this? Thanks.October 29, 2009 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm #664271komaMember
If you can access the seforim, the acharonic discourse on the kashrus of turkey is a fascinating read. The potato missed the kitniyot designation by arriving late to Europe. The Rama in Hilchos brochaos mentions ” the new vegatable” as a subject of shehecheyanu but rules it out because the storage ability takes away the seasonality. Rav Moshe ztzl, in a tshuva on peanuts/kitniyot ends with an “Ode to the Potato” saying that this wonderful thing was the basis of their chiyyus.October 29, 2009 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #664273truthsharerMember
Actually, there were poskim that wanted to add potatoes to the list of kitniyos.October 29, 2009 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #664274SJSinNYCMember
I love Thanksgiving. Food is great, family is great and I have off to prepare for Black Friday 🙂
Last year, I didn’t have a chance to pick up my reduced price turkey from ShopRite until the day after – it had dropped another $1/lb! That was awesome.October 29, 2009 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #664275bein_hasdorimParticipant
We do not celebrate Thanksgiving day K’minhagom. Since we have much more to appreciate then them, (being persecuted in almost every nation) We have to give thanks to HB”H
on this Medina Shel Chesed, Everyday. I dont think eating turkey, or sweet potato pie,
even cranberry sauce, means we are being thankful, it just means we are trying to imitate other Americans. Being thankful means just that, thanking HB”H for all that he bestows upon us even in Chutz L’Aretz.October 29, 2009 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #664277
I do like the traditional Thanksgiving food. When I had my parents living with me, I would make the turkey and all the fixings for Shabbos Chanukah.October 29, 2009 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #664278neatfreakMember
I celebrate thanksgiving everyday. and mother’s day and father’s day as well.
But i def appreciate the break!!!October 29, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #664279
as Saint Ambrose said, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Though this didn’t apply to Jews, we have managed to pick up some of the better parts of all the societies we lived in, and tried to keep the worst parts out of our lives.
There is good and bad in American culture, and those of us who are discussing this have much to be thankful for. Similar to the Pilgrims, we came here with hopes of being able to practice our religion freely, and to be free from persecution. America has accomplished this as successfully as any other country. I know there are flaws, but this is purely a relative measure.
One of the things Americans do right is to stop one day per year, take the day off from work, gather with our families, eat a feast, and let EVERYONE reflect on just how fortunate we are to be here, to have our bellies full, and to have our families around us.
I agree that one day of gratitude is not enough, but that is beside the point. One day is infinitely better than no days.October 29, 2009 8:21 pm at 8:21 pm #664280cantoresqMember
As it happens, the oldest Jewish congregation in the U.S., Shearith Israel, has a special service on Thanksgiving where they recite various chapters of Tehilim and say a Mi Shebeirach for the country. So there could be some historical basis for observing the holiday.
EDITEDOctober 29, 2009 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #664283telegrokMember
* yawn *October 29, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #664284
yes, that happens on Thankgsgiving, you eat too much turkey, and feel drowsy and start to yawn. Something about the L-Tryptophan it contains.October 30, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am #664285mazcaMember
Am Ysrael Ehad If you are not american and american jews start celebrating thanksgiving is that a new minhag and in a few years people are going to say we have the tradition to celebrate it. And they would be called the amerikenses, with a different religion so far.
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