Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oy! Stop being so meshuga! The first Thanksgiving was Jewish!

 Why can't you do anything like a normal person?

Georgie, don't listen to the Goys...

In fact, this year it's Thanksgivukkah.  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide this year - which is fairly unusual and won't happen again until 79811.  Thanksgiving is from the Jews.
Thanksgiving, as in giving thanks, is a very Jewish thing to do. According to tradition, Jews are to give thanks 100 times each day. We are to give thanks before we eat, for having food, and after we eat, for having been able to have food. Each morning the traditional liturgy includes thank-yous for such simple acts as standing up and having the strength to get through the day. One more Jewish link is found in our Scripture: The initial Thanksgiving feast was probably based upon our fall thanksgiving festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles)  
But I think there is more to the American Jewish observance of Thanksgiving than our predilection to thankfulness. I think it has a lot to do specifically with our appreciation for and celebration of being part of life in America. - Source
So, my little Gefiltephish, before there was a Thanksgiving, there was Hanukkah.
“In a fascinating way, the idea of Thanksgivukkah is not such a stretch, as both are thanksgiving festivals based on the Biblical festival. Both are related to the desire to heal from a devastating war and to express gratitude for having survived, to promote a vision of a future time when peace will reign once more. Both tell us that we should take the long view that good will triumph over evil. Both festivals express our faith that even a tiny flame can illuminate a place of darkness.” - Source

Bonus factoid:   Catholics commemorate Hanukkah too...

Yes.  Yes, we do.  The readings from Mass last week were taken from the Book of Maccabees ... commemorating the re-dedication of the Temple by Judas Maccabee and his brothers.  That's Hanukkah*.

Now.  If you're Catholic and feel guilty about not celebrating Thanksgiving ...

Don't feel bad.  It's not a holy day of obligation, and remember, it is just an ordinary Thursday in every other country in the world.  And don't forget, it's better to light a candle than curse/kill a turkey. 

Happy Thanksgivukkah.

'Hanukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
send out for Chinese.'
This is the best Festivus ever!

* While Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday, as indicated by the lack of religious restrictions on work other than a few minutes after lighting the candles, in North America, Hanukkah in the 21st century has gained importance as a symbol of Jewish identity. Both the Israeli and North American versions of Hanukkah emphasize resistance, focusing on some combination of national liberation and religious freedom as the defining meaning of the holiday.


  1. That was fascinating! Happy thanksgiving to you! I am thankful that you are using your many talents for the glory of God, not to mention for my edification, entertainment and enjoyment of thought-provoking posts! May He bless you and your work! Hope your turkey was good too!

  2. This is a great-post, Terry. That Chinese-lady is very wise, too. At least with Chinese "take-out" one gets fortune cookies with one's own little fortune inside. Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah to you and ALL your readers here! and God bless always.

  3. Wait, I thought you were supposed to go out for Chinese for Christmas??? Be careful kid, you'll shoot your eye out.


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