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Is Thanksgiving Kosher? Applying Jewish law to turkey day.

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-22-06 05:24 PM
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Is Thanksgiving Kosher? Applying Jewish law to turkey day.
Is Thanksgiving Kosher?
Applying Jewish law to turkey day
By Rabbi Michael Broyde

To most American Jews, even most Orthodox Jews, there is no question about the appropriateness of

celebrating to Thanksgiving; to them, it is a secular holiday that represents values important in Judaism and in American culture. To many traditionalist Jews, however, commemorating any non-Jewish holiday raises questions about biblical and rabbinic law forbidding Jews to imitate non-Jewish customs and traditions. In the following article, the author looks at the question from this vantage point, demonstrating how one would apply halakhic (Jewish legal) reasoning to the issue of whether it is permissible for Orthodox Jews to celebrate Thanksgiving. Excerpted with permission from a longer version of this article, which can be found on the website Torah From Dixie.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. It is no longer (and perhaps never was) a celebration affiliated with any particular religion or faith, although some in America celebrate with religious ceremonies.

The first and most significant issue in discussing whether it is halakhic to celebrate Thanksgiving is whether it is permissible to eat a Thanksgiving meal, with the classical foods that American tradition indicates one should eat at this meal: turkey and cranberry sauce. Among the authorities of the previous generation, three different positions have been taken on this topic, and these three positions have each been accepted by various halakhic authorities of the current generation.

The Legal Background

However, before these three positions can be understood, a certain background into the nature of the prohibition against imitating Gentile customs must be understood. Tosafot understands that two distinctly different types of customs are forbidden by the prohibition of imitating Gentile customs found in Leviticus 18:3. The first is idolatrous customs and the second is foolish customs found in the Gentile community, even if their origins are not idolatrous.

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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-25-06 10:40 AM
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1. Even G-d will not keep me from my stuffing.
Sorry to the more observant among us, but I have different priorities!

(At least I put chestnuts in it and not Cajun sausage!) :P
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