Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is one of those legal holidays where it is appropriate to reflect on the great good God has bestowed upon the Jewish people in our day. We live in unprecedented times. As I have pointed out many times - the freedom we enjoy to fully practice our faith – which encompasses every aspect of our lives and at the same time fully enjoy the benefits this great country offers – not the least of which is its support of the State of Israel -is worthy of a reflection and thought. And it deserving of giving thanks - Hakoras HaTov to both God and country on this day - and every day.

There are various opinions about whether it is appropriate for us to celebrate this day by having a big family meal and serving the traditional turkey. Some frown upon the custom, some approve, and some even participate in such a meal themselves.

My Rebbe Rav Ahron used to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. And there is a wonderful anecdote about his brother, the Rav, who used to attend his own family’s Thanksgiving Day dinner. But no matter whether one agrees with this custom or not - to the best of my knowledge – no one forbids it. And certainly no one should denigrate Thanksgiving or its traditional festive meal! Being a devoutly religious Jew does not preclude being an American.

I have gone to many Thanksgiving Day dinners in my lifetime and will be doing so again this year. So to all Americans - Jews and non Jews alike - Happy Thanksgiving!