Thanksgiving Becomes a Major Kosher Holiday at Restaurants

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turkey.jpgForget Chanukah as the leading kosher dining holiday.

Thanksgiving Day, say kosher restaurateurs, has emerged as one of the busiest days on the calendar. Retailers too say that turkey sales have risen steadily over the past five years.

Dave, the manager of the meat department at a large Long Island kosher grocer, says that turkey sales have risen by “about 20%” in the last three years.

Most kosher restaurants offer a pri fixe dinner that ranges from around $21.99 to $39.99, including the turkey and toppings.

Elan Kornblum, publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, publishes a special newsletter with the offerings of some of the major kosher restaurants in New York.

(Source: Kosher Today)




26 COMMENTS

  1. Well, maybe when President Obama proclaims the holiday (that’s short for Holy Day) this year, he’ll be the first president to ignore a reference to a diety (we can just thank the government), thereby eliminating the shailoh of Thanksgiving be ing a day to give thanks to a god (small “g”), which would be of avodah zarah.

    Perhaps because most Yidden are familiar with Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churchs with their structured clergy and formal rituals, they don’t realize that Thanksgiving is a religious holiday, albeit one whose origins are in the Protestant religious tradition.

    If someone knows of any gedolim who observe the avodah of this yuntuf (eating a Turkey, a bird which was actually considered treff back in the 17th century), please let us know.

  2. Akuperma- you make me laugh so hard….

    I will be enjoying my turkey dinner with all the trimmings iy”h next Thursday.

    I will be sure to read your comment at my table as good pre-purim torah as I munch on a drumstick.

  3. I don’t think there is anything wrong with “celebrating Thanksgiving.” Eating turkey and pumpkin pie with family on a Thursday evening could be quite enjoyable. If the world wants to have a day where they actually give thanks to ppl and G-d, you can’t complain.
    I know someone who was once asked at work by a non religious or non Jewish coworker (can’t remember) if he celebrates Thanksgiving. He replied “I celebrate Thanksgiving everyday.” Coworker responded “Come to think of it, Thanksgiving does seem silly.”

  4. to #2

    That’s not true. He has seval teshuvas on this subject. In OH 20:6 he says that there is no prohibition to make a GENERIC celebration on Thanksgiving (though a baal nefesh should be strict and not do it) but to actually make a celebration in honor of Thanksgiving is prohibited.

    In YD 4:11 hes says that while he is not certain, it appears to him that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, therefore a day of thanksgiving by the people of a country who were joyful over an event would be ok. However, he says “that it is prohibited to establish this day annually for this feast.”

    He goes on to explain that it makes no sense to establish a national holiday because of one time events experienced only by certain pilgrims in one place. Therefore it is a minhag shtus, a silly custom of the goyim.

    IOW, if you want to eat turkey and cranberry sauce etc next Thursday, while you really shouldn’t, it’s is ok if you do. But doing so because it is Thanksgiving is ossur.

  5. BTW, Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l paskened that Thanksgiving was Avodah Zara. Supposedly the Rav had said that he would never argue with Reb Moshe zt”l except in regard to this Sheila. He said that whoever gave Reb Moshe his information was misinformed (about whether or not Thanksgiving had goyishe religious roots — remember that R’ Moshe himself admitted he was unsure). The Rav continued, that since he himself was American he was well aware of the history and origins of the holiday (for example that Thomes jefferson opposed it because he felt the government had no authority to declare a RELIGIOUS holiday). Therefore, Rav Miller paskened that it is avodah zara.

  6. #1. I believe Rav Moshe not
    only does NOT say it is a
    secular holiday, but rather
    say that if one will eat
    turkey every year on this day
    it is a question of chukas
    akum. Rav Y. B. Soloveichik
    z”l also had issues with it.
    Rav Hutner z”l writes that it
    is abizreihu d’avodah zorah.
    Rav Miller z”l quoting from
    secular sources, showed that
    indeed it is a religious
    holiday.
    #2 For years there has been
    a choice of main dishes at the
    Thursday night dinner.
    #3 Rav Yaakov z”l, personally
    did not eat turkey due to the
    question of mesorah. I believe
    Belz and/or other courts do
    not eat turkey at all as well.
    The issue is the subject if
    many teshuvos.
    #4 There is an issue eating
    meat on Thursdays period as
    is brought in hilchos ta’anis.

  7. #3 (flash): Without getting into the whole avoda zarah thing, I would guess that you have never been to an Agudah Convention either. I am part of the kitchen staff there (have been for a number of years), and as I recall, Thursday night’s entree is typically Prime Rib au jus. I do not recall any instance of them serving turkey.

  8. #7 I’m not following the logic. What does Jefferson’s objection of crossing church and state have to do with R. Miller’s psak.

    And isn’t the origin “Sukkos”? I don’t understand ya.

  9. For those of you who are quoting Reb Moshe ZTL, can you provide us with the marah m’komos so we could look it up for ourselves?

    Also, do you always follow Reb Moshe or only when it meets your agenda?

  10. Last year my Shviger made such a todo about the meal that my Shver stood up and tossed the platter right out the front door. Unfortunately it led to severe political unrest internationally – the overturning of Turkey, the break up of China, and the fall of Grease…

  11. Thank You akuperma.

    #6 provided the marah m’komos.

    The #4’s of the world, do as #11 suggested, and follow only those psakim that fit their agenda, whilst ignoring any that do not.

  12. #13 You have a great sense of humor! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!
    #12 is correct! Are there no weddings on Wed & Thurs evenings? Turkey is a very economical dinner to serve and tasty. It is a day to come together and reflect of the medina shel chesed that we live in and hope that it never gets any worse C’V’S.

  13. If you’re wondering about the source of thanksgiving:
    In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim’s fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.

    The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.

    The holiday itself evolved out of a routine Puritan religious observation, irregularly declared and celebrated in response to God’s favorable Providence, into an single, annual, quasi-secular New England autumnal celebration.

  14. Akuperma is more right than you think. The original Thanksgivings were Xtians paying tribute to THEIR idea of god. On top of that, there is a proper hashkafa Jews should have regarding eating a turkey on Thanksgiving. I dont recall what it is, because, while I dont mind eating turkey, I dont hold to the European settlers holiday and what they did to the Native Americans once they learned from them how to survive. I guess it’s a lack of hakaras hatov thing.

  15. Get a life! Spend your time more constructively on much more important issues (like Shalit release and the young men sitting in prison)…daven for them instead of complaining about Thanksgiving!

  16. Ill bet all you turkeys out there are happy that the bird they SUPPOSEDLY ate was a turkey instead of a chazir! Would you people want to be matir chazir so you could be like the goyim then too???

  17. I just want to clarify that my above post is not sarcastic, I like Thanksgiving and want to defend it. I just stated that in a joking way.