Jewish Journal


November 25, 2008

How Jewish is Thanksgiving?



There were no Jews on the Mayflower, but Edmon J. Rodman says Turkey Day is very Jewy. Thanksgiving celebrates a persecuted religious group that fled their homeland for freedom, and, like all Jewish holidays, it includes family gatherings around food. I guess you could call it an honorary MOT holiday.

Rodman writes:

Thanksgiving is one of the few days in America where interfaith cooperation reigns,  with many synagogues and churches holding combined services. Rabbis, ministers, priests and pastors try valiantly to craft services that will be meaningful yet not offensive to their combined congregations.

As a child at such a service, the first time I went to a church, the service ended with the congregation singing a song of thanks that began, “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing …” From a hymn book I sang along, reassured to discover that other people sang about God, too.

Jews have their own prayers and psalms of thanks. Modim, a prayer included morning, noon and night in the daily liturgy, includes the words, “We thank you and praise you for our lives that are in your hand.”

This year at my Thanksgiving dinner I plan to break bread with the motzi and end with the Birkat Hamazon, the grace after meal that begins, “Let us thank the One whose food we have eaten.”

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2016 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.2279 / 52