Friday, November 05, 2010

Kiddush HaShem - From Halloween to Thanksgiving

Wow! That is the best description of what I just saw. Thanks to the Jewish Press and Hirhurim for making the Orthodox Jewish public aware of this Kiddush HaShem.

At this time of year there is often much debate about the propriety of Thanksgiving family turkey dinners. In my view and those of my mentors, it is a great way to celebrate America. And show appreciation for what we Jews have.

The idea of Thanksgiving is rooted in the Torah. The Pilgrims were very religious and oriented to the ‘Old Testament’ as they call it. They sought a means of thanking God for their bounty at this harvest time of year and modeled Thanksgiving after Sukkos - which is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif.

Both the Rav and Rav Ahron attended family Thanksgiving dinners. There are of course other opinions , Rav Moshe Feinstein among them that do not approve of this custom and though not forbidding it, consider it to be a Minhag Garua – a degrading custom.

Whether one agrees with my Rebbe or Rav Moshe I don’t think anyone can dispute the Kiddush HaShem made by Rabbi Akiva Males and his Shul – Kesher Israel. If that name sounds familiar it may be because he was recently quoted here and elsewhere regarding another Kiddush HaShem about Rav Pam and Halloween.

There are so many people constantly pointing out what’s wrong with Klal Yisroel - I among them. I do not apologize for that. The only way one can do Tikkun is by first knowing that something is wrong. But it isn’t all bad. If Klal Yisroel needs an example of what’s right with Judaism let them look here. Watch it and be proud.