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Do you celebrate thanksgiving
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 5:28 pm
The Puritans celebrated by reading תהילים ק"ז, which the Rambam cites as the source for ברכת הגומל. William Bradford's copy of the Bible had annotations by Henry Ainsworth, pointing to that Rambam.

My grandparents came to America to escape religious persecution and found tolerance and prosperity. So, yes, we take the day to mark our thanks.
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amother




Silver
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 5:36 pm
I don't
My grandparents do and I've joined them in the past when it works out. A good excuse to visit and spend time with family.
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vintagebknyc




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 6:05 pm
I do, I love it. I just made a huge pie and DH will cook tomorrow. This year, just the two of us because of covid, but a giant family Zoom at dinnertime.
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GLUE




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 6:11 pm
I am working my DH is not, he is going to watch the kids (that are off from school) and make supper. I am celebrating, in this what you mean?
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amother




Purple
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 6:13 pm
When I was a young child we did Thanksgiving breakfast, because dad would start work late. Legal holidays were the only times we had breakfast as a family and we loved it. School secretaries? They didn't love it as much, always badgering us that it's not a good enough excuse to come late. Once I got married I stopped that tradition, as husband and I were both rushing out to work (both of us didn't get off that day). A year or so later we started celebrating with a friend's family. That relationship fell apart, and now we make a small dinner on our own, but only if it works. Last year it was simple shredded turkey sandwiches, this year we're having more of the traditional foods, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, string bean casserole, roasted yams, and maybe a pie if someone here has a really easy recipe that isn't too sweet.

My husband isn't American so he didn't grow up with it.
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dancingqueen




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 7:05 pm
amother [ Apricot ] wrote:
No- I don’t know anyone who does


That's funny, I don't know anyone who doesn't.
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amother




Apricot
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 7:08 pm
dancingqueen wrote:
That's funny, I don't know anyone who doesn't.

Different circles!
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 7:22 pm
When I lived in the US I always did a turkey and all the traditional.foods, sometimes on Thursday, sometimes Friday night, depending on what else we had going on or if we wanted to invite non sleepover guests.
When I made aliyah I continued the Thanksgiving shabbat tradition. We do a full Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night. It's so much fun. I end up doing the same dinner at least one other time during the year because it's fun to do a themed shabbat every once in a while.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 7:31 pm
shabbatiscoming wrote:
wow, I wonder if he realized that what he said was wrong. Thanksgiving origins had zero to do with going to church. And wow, eating turkey is avoda zara? Thats a bit extreme, no?


This was an interesting and informative read :

Thanksgiving and America
November 2016 • Volume 45, Number 11 • Melanie Kirkpatrick
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu.....rica/

From the essay, keep in mind it's only 2 paragraphs:

There are two eyewitness accounts of the first Thanksgiving, written by Pilgrims William Bradford and Edward Winslow—although I should stipulate that the word “thanksgiving” does not appear in them. If you could travel back to 1621 and ask a Pilgrim to define “Thanksgiving Day,” his answer might surprise you. For the Pilgrims, “days of thanksgiving” were not marked by feasting, family, and fellowship—the happy hallmarks of the holiday we now celebrate—but by religious observance. They were called to express gratitude to God for specific beneficences such as successful harvests, propitious weather, or military victories. For the Pilgrims and other early immigrants to our shores, a “thanksgiving day” was set aside for prayer and worship.

From the Pilgrims’ perspective, their first Thanksgiving in New England took place two years after the event we recall as the first. It was July 1623, and the governor declared a day of thanksgiving in gratitude for rainfall that had saved their harvest. These religious days, observed in all 13 colonies, were the most direct influence on the development of Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today.
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amother




Coffee
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 8:12 pm
dancingqueen wrote:
That's funny, I don't know anyone who doesn't.


Ditto. In my community it's pretty standard. I've always enjoyed the holiday and (speaking as a convert) I appreciate it's one I can celebrate with my family.
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SuperWify




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 8:23 pm
shabbatiscoming wrote:
wow, I wonder if he realized that what he said was wrong. Thanksgiving origins had zero to do with going to church. And wow, eating turkey is avoda zara? Thats a bit extreme, no?


I’m also a bit shocked. I want to dig around a bit more history.

Xmas and New Years are obviously Christian but thanksgiving... yes, the pilgrims were Christians but they didnt go to a church to thank gd, they are their meal outside AFAIK.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 8:58 pm
SuperWify wrote:
I’m also a bit shocked. I want to dig around a bit more history.

Xmas and New Years are obviously Christian but thanksgiving... yes, the pilgrims were Christians but they didnt go to a church to thank gd, they are their meal outside AFAIK.


From the quoted essay above :

For the Pilgrims, “days of thanksgiving” were not marked by feasting, family, and fellowship—the happy hallmarks of the holiday we now celebrate—but by religious observance. They were called to express gratitude to God for specific beneficences such as successful harvests, propitious weather, or military victories. For the Pilgrims and other early immigrants to our shores, a “thanksgiving day” was set aside for prayer and worship.



The full essay is very informative.

**********

But there's another component as well from a halachic perspective. And that's even if it's not a religious practice it could still fall under the category of "bechukoseihem lo seileichu." As mentioned by a different amother above, Rabbi Viener has a whole series on bechukoseihem and discusses Rav Moishe's take on Thanksgiving at length (IIRC there were at least 2 or 3 shiurim dedicated to Thanksgiving, learning the sources inside).

Here's Rabbi Viener's bechukoseihem series. Thanksgiving is discussed on page 3, shiur dated Nov 15, '16 starts the discussion... (they're each around 20 minutes or so)
http://torahstream.org/shiurim....._5777
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Mommyg8




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 9:16 pm
Cbsp and superwifey, Rav Moshes reason didnt have to do with the origin of Thanksgiving, it was a lomdos that was inferred, because anything that g0yim do with an unknown reason is assumed to be avodah zarah. I can't sum up the entire shiur and I dont want to say it wrong, maybe I can find it and link it later.

But I find it EXTREMELY interesting that they independently came to the same conclusion.
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cbsp




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 9:21 pm
Mommyg8 wrote:
Cbsp and superwifey, Rav Moshes reason didnt have to do with the origin of Thanksgiving, it was a lomdos that was inferred, because anything that g0yim do with an unknown reason is assumed to be avodah zarah. I can't sum up the entire shiur and I dont want to say it wrong, maybe I can find it and link it later.

But I find it EXTREMELY interesting that they independently came to the same conclusion.


Bechukoseihem is a separate concept from avodah zorah, not that we avoid a practice in case it stems from avodah zorah.
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Geulanow




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 9:22 pm
Mommyg8 wrote:
Rabbi Veiner quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein that eating turkey is avodah zorah. So no, not extreme. (If you use his heter of chalav stam, then you should follow him in this as well).

Really interesting how they both said the same thing and I doubt they consulted with each other.

According to several articles, Rav Feinstein   "in the earlier teshuvos he seemed to be against the idea of a Thanksgiving celebration, (possibly there were more religious connotations involved in the early 1960s celebrations than in the 1980s), nevertheless, in his later teshuvos he does allow a Thanksgiving observance (he notes that it is not a religious celebration) with turkey being served, as long as it is not seen as an obligatory annual celebration but rather as a periodical ‘simchas reshus’. All the same, Rav Moshe concludes that it is still preferable not to have a celebration b’davka for Thanksgiving."
https://ohr.edu/6105.
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 9:59 pm
cbsp wrote:
Bechukoseihem is a separate concept from avodah zorah, not that we avoid a practice in case it stems from avodah zorah.


It's not random, though. Just because non-Jews wear belts doesn't mean that we can't wear belts, for example. We're not forbidden to do things that make sense or even things that are neutral.

(Yes, I know that some groups make sure to button their shirts on the wrong side, but these are the same ones who dress like nonjewish nobility in the 18th century. So I don't think we learn from that.)
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 11:13 pm
In previous discussions of Valentine's Day on this site I remember that there were numeorus posters who said that they note the day in some form or fashion.
I'm wondering if there is anyone here who marks Valentine's Day but eschews Thanksgiving and why?
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amother




Dodgerblue
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 11:16 pm
etky wrote:
In previous discussions of Valentine's Day on this site I remember that there were numeorus posters who said that they note the day in some form or fashion.
I'm wondering if there is anyone here who marks Valentine's Day but eschews Thanksgiving and why?


I was surprised to find out about that. No one (in my MO. circles) marks Valentine's Day, but Thanksgiving is pretty universal.
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etky




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 11:47 pm
amother [ Dodgerblue ] wrote:
I was surprised to find out about that. No one (in my MO. circles) marks Valentine's Day, but Thanksgiving is pretty universal.


I also found it pretty shocking to be honest.
It's a blatantly Christian day of note and still observed as a Saint's Day in many denominations, even if it's seeped into modern secular culture and been commercialized.

Re Thanksgiving - growing up, the people in our MO circles celebrated Thanksgiving and it was marked with especially great gusto at our Yeshiva. We were taught the history, put on Thanksgiving plays about Pilgrims and Indians (that's what they were called back in the seventies...) and learnt all the appropriate songs. The main vibe was that we should appreciate what an amazing place the US was in terms of being a haven for people fleeing religious persecution and for providing religious freedom for all. I don't think it hurts to set aside a day to celebrate this and to remember not to take it for granted. The beauty of the day is that each family is free to celebrate in its own way, according to their own traditions or in keeping with their own religious practices if they have any.

Our family didn't really do the entire meal with all the trimmings since we didn't have any extended family to celebrate with and also, as posters already said, Thursday night is difficult for Shabbat observers.
But we did have a main course that consisted of some form of turkey (one year I remember turkey hot dogs, another year it was drumsticks that as kids we used to call "brontosauraus") and we would watch the Macy's Day Parade on TV.

Here in Israel we continued to mark Thanksgiving for a while but then it petered out at some point. You have to make a real effort cause no one in general society here is marking it and it got too hard at some point when everyone in our circles started having kids.
I still always make one or two Thanksgiving-ish dishes for the Shabbat following Thanksgiving.
This year I'm making sweet potato pie and cranberry chicken.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Nov 25 2020, 11:52 pm
I wonder what these Rabbanim would say now about Thanksgiving with the multitude of information out there now that the history story we were all told is likely based on a bunch of lies.

The native Americans were likely forced to come and killed and raped afterwards. Native Americans nowadays spend Thanksgiving mourning actually.

In any case my mother was very against it. When she became religious she becams very anti these type of things, wanting to fit in and all with society.

DH's family always does Thanksgiving and I we join. When/if we live farther away I'm not sure if take the time to make a whole meal on a Thursday. I like the food and I like the idea someone mentioned of having it on shabbos.
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