The Secret of Thanksgiving
Tzvi FishmanBefore making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter....
I will let you in on a secret. I celebrate thanksgiving. That’s right. I do it every day. That’s how a Jew spends his entire life, thanking G-d for all of His constant goodness and blessings.
Just as Xmas celebrates the birth of a Jew, and Easter celebrates his death, Thanksgiving has Jewish origins too.
When it comes to celebrating the American holiday of Thanksgiving, there are halachic opinions that it is OK for a Jew to participate in the festivities and football games since the holiday is not associated today with any religious observances of the gentiles.
Ostensibly, Thanksgiving is a time, dating back to the Pilgrims, to thank G-d for providing disgruntled Englishman with a new place to observe their religion. This being the case, it is difficult for me to understand why a Jew would want to participate in this holiday. As my Grandmother used to say, “A curse on Columbus!” for having discovered America in the first place.
In a previous blog this week, we mentioned the many carving knives that bear-hugging America has wedged into the backs of the Jewish People while pretending to love us. In addition to the upcoming trap of Annapolis, we shouldn’t forget that this sinister, pseudo-love is insidiously decimating our ranks through the holocaust of assimilation.
Nonetheless, for all of our schizophrenic brothers and sisters who celebrate Thanksgiving, they can at least claim that it has Jewish sources. After all, we are the people who taught mankind about the obligation to thank G-d for all of His infinite kindness. In Hebrew, the word “Hodo” means “expressing thanks” or “thanksgiving.” This is how we begin our daily prayers, “Hodo l’Hashem…” – “Give thanks to Hashem, call out in His Name, make known His doings amongst the nations.” In effect, a Jew celebrates thanksgiving every day. Interestingly, “Hodo” is also the Hebrew word for “turkey.” So it is no coincidence that people celebrate Thanksgiving by stuffing their mouths with turkey. Just as Xmas celebrates the birth of a Jew, and Easter celebrates his death, Thanksgiving has Jewish origins too.
In fact, Columbus himself was a closet Jew. He received the money for his expedition from the great Rabbi, the Abarbanel, who was the acting Finance Minister of Spain. Doesn’t 1492 ring a bell? It was also the year of the Spanish Inquisition, when all the Jews were expelled from Spain. It turns out that Columbus, who wrote on his epistles, the Hebrew letters, ב"ה, meaning “Bezrat Hashem,” or “With the help of G-d,” was looking for a safe haven for the Jews.
Too bad he didn’t sail south a few days across the Mediterranean to Israel. That way he would have saved us from 500 years of wandering amongst the goyim, along with the wholesale slaughter and psychological trauma that has accompanied us throughout all of our exiles.
And it would have spared us the question of whether Jews should celebrate Thanksgiving once a year like the Americans, or be content with our daily thanksgivings to G-d in our prayers.
One way or the other, “Hodo l’Hashem ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo!”