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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Of Course I Celebrate Thanksgiving

For a Jew, everyday is Thanksgiving!
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Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

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Somebody asked me if I am celebrating Thanksgiving? What a silly question! For a Jew, everyday is Thanksgiving! We thank God when we get up in the morning. We thank Him when we get dressed. We thank Him when we leave the lavatory. We thank Him when we eat. All day long a Jew is busy thanking God for all of the kindnesses which He bestows upon us every minute of our lives.

What about America’s Thanksgiving Day? Do I celebrate that? Of course I do!

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in America anymore.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile land pretending that it’s perfectly OK to be there.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile culture, speaking a gentile language, surrounded by gentile holidays, and gentile symbols, and gentile traditions.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to slice up our Land like a turkey.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to cut up Jerusalem as if it were a sweet potato.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that pressures Israel not to eliminate a terrorist state bent on Israel’s destruction.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country which fosters mass assimilation.

I give thanks to God that my children grow up speaking Hebrew, and knowing who they are, without schizophrenic identities of belonging to an alien gentile nation.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that my children pledge allegiance to the Israel Defense Forces and not to the flag of a foreign government.

I give thanks To God that my children know that the forefather of their Nation was Avraham Avinu and not George Washington.

I give thanks to God that my children say that Jerusalem is their capital and not Washington D.C.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God knowing that my children and grandchildren will marry Jews.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in the Holy Land and not in the land of Disneyland.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in Yerushalayim, ten minutes away from the Kotel.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that everything in the supermarket is kosher and that I don’t have to strain my eyes and put on my reading glasses to find little OUs.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for having answered the prayers of the Jewish People for 2000 years to return us to Zion, and for giving us a Jewish airline to get here, and for rebuilding Jerusalem and Jewish cities and settlements all over Israel, and for giving us a Jewish army that can defend us against our enemies .

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for once again making Israel the Torah center of the world.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for letting me play an active part in the Redemption of our Nation just by raising my family here, sending my sons to the army, and doing whatever I can to help strengthen our Nation in our own Land.

Of course I celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Today, I am going to eat the biggest falafel I can!

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About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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48 Responses to “Of Course I Celebrate Thanksgiving”

  1. Cathryn D. Winterfield says:

    I am thankful that, as an American Jew, our work to support the State of Israel results in the continued existence of that country.

  2. Heshy R says:

    Yet the writer has no problem using the language of the nation he’s so UNgrateful to. Xenophobic hypocrite.

  3. Mayer Fertig says:

    I make it a habit to read material by writers whose points of view I don’t share. It’s good for the brain. But when I opened the link and saw the byline I shut it again and, after posting this comment, I’ll move on. Truly, no patience for this guy. His tone is obnoxious.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    For an anti-American screed like this to appear in an American Jewish newspaper is an insult to what our great sages have called the Medinah Shel Chesed, the Land of Compassion. The United States was the first country in the world in which Jews were full citizens since the Roman Empire! And the First President of the United States, George Washington, went out of his way to express his support for the small Jewish community in America, as evidenced in this famous exchange of letters:

    http://www.tourosynagogue.org/index.php/history-learning/gw-letter

  5. Charlie Hall says:

    And it was George Washington who issued the first proclamation for a National Day of Thanksgiving, in 1789:

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gw004.html

    The small Jewish community then in America embraced that holiday with tremendous enthusiasm. As we should do so today.

  6. Stephen Belsky says:

    UGH

  7. David Frankel says:

    Didn't Rav Solovetchik (not sure if I spelled it right) say that people should celebrate Thanksgiving? I believe that was who Rabbi Weiss was referring to this morning.

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    Yes. I think he even ate turkey!

  9. Zachary Kessin says:

    There is a reason I post George Washington's letter to the Jews of Newport every year.

  10. Luzia Alves says:

    Precise-precious words!

  11. Channie Kahan says:

    Beautiful!

  12. That is despicable. I too live in Israel. I make sure my children know about thanksgiving and July 4th, etc I would never want them to forget their American heritage or the special uniqueness that is the great Medina
    Shel Cheesed!

  13. Arlette Cee says:

    I can't believe they published that — it disgusts me.

  14. Dana Werstein Parkoff says:

    I agree totally Michael.

  15. Dana Werstein Parkoff says:

    I cannot believe this article was printed.

  16. Jack Menashe says:

    I'm thankful this writer isn't in America anymore. Pitiful. They should be embarrassed and ashamed. A Hilul Hashem if you ask me… That ungrateful writer should be thankful his ancestors had a place to go whenever it was their family fled Europe. It may not be a utopia but it beats 100% of the choices besides Israel.

  17. Jack Menashe says:

    I am in shock this printed. A Hillul Hashem. We are thankful, you are not. Where would our nation and Torah be without America? America may be a leader in assimilation but that is not the fault of a country but of a nation and it's people, our people. Where would your family be we're it not for America? What country in the last century was even semi-friendly to us? Your words do not help those of us still here but inflame the hearts of a nation with whom we still reside. Words in a public forum that can not be taken back. Words that show why you won't fight for your host nation or mother country. This makes me sick to my stomache, after my turkey and cranberry jam for in America we are "tankful" for much and appreciate the liberties we have. Ungrateful (I'll stop here…. Let everyone fill in the rest).

  18. Liad Bar-el says:

    Didn't even know it was that pegan holiday until I read this blog. My wife and daughter, both born in Israel, still don't know and it's better this way so as not to clutter their minds with such peganism. The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday in many states. Maybe that's one of Mose Brown's favorite holidays. :-)

  19. I couldnt agree with you more jack. as far as filling in the blanks I cant help you there because I am absolutely speechless!!!!

  20. Lou Ann Bell Ashmore says:

    With all due respect, and I do mean respect, it is a great insult to call Thanksgiving a pagan holiday. It is a day of fellowship and love with family and friends to thank God for all that we have. The same God that you worship and pray to every day. There is nothing pagan about it. And black Friday is a shopping term to mark the first day of the Christmas holiday season. It has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. Please get your facts straight.

    Like millions of other Americans, I have been watching and reading about what is happening in Israel right now. I have many, many Jewish friends both here and there in Israel. I am horrified by what I am seeing. I am praying for the children and the other innocent civilians who are dying and being affected by the Hamas attacks. I do not believe the propaganda and pictures that Gaza is using to swing support away from Israel. Today, our Thanksgiving, millions of Americans prayed for Israel. Believe me when I tell you that I am among millions of others who pray for you and condemn the Arab nations for the missile attacks. Don't let the actions of a few 'bad seeds' speak for all of America. I'm not believing lies about you. Don't believe lies about me.

    I wish you well.
    A supportive American.

  21. Lou Ann Bell Ashmore says:

    One more thing. How did this Gentile girl find this Jewish article? It was posted on my Facebook page by a Jewish friend who was also offended by it.

  22. Don't even go there unless you can handle the knowledge of how many so-called Jewish customs also have Pagen roots!

  23. Don't even go there unless you can handle the knowledge of how many so-called Jewish customs also have Pagen roots!

  24. Morris Didia says:

    Jack Menashe with all due respect, it is a bit of an overreaction. why chastise someone who is thankful for different things than you are thankful for…you are reading into it too much. he is right as far as being thankful everyday but he is thankful for not living in america; you and i are thankful for that. done.

  25. Many people only see themselves in every picture What he is screaming loud and clear is I'm better than all of u bec I'm in Israel. It is also screaming that he had to make that decision to leave bec he didn't 'make it' here in America which would have been the ultimate for him. But since he couldn't get that he one upped everyone here and left. Not everyone makes it as much as we'd like and that is also up to our efforts and Hashem. But we can serve Hashem here BH and be thankful and greatful as much as he can — and it's not about eating falafel but we can have that too !

  26. We can thank America everyday we thank HASHEM everyday I didn't read article yet. My family saved turkey lekavod shabbat Kodesh. Don't make this day bigger then shabbat and succoth pesach chanukah. We celebrate 8 days of thanks. Eat meat every night and dairy In the day time.

  27. Jack agreed! That's a Hilul hashem.

  28. Melanie Habert says:

    Some people think that Thanksgiving is simply not a Jewish holiday but it is completely American! When the Pilgrims came over, all they wanted was religious freedom. The holiday has become a lot about the food, football and planning your shopping but it really is a day to give thanks for what we have here. As Jews just because we pray to God daily thanking him, often we're juts going through the motions, thinking when we're done praying we still have to do A, B, C. There's nothing wrong with pausing one day, spending it with family,having a nice meal and appreciating what we have in America. The Pilgrims all those years ago set a huge precedent for all future Americans who would give up everything in their native land and come to this country to have it all! We should honor that!

  29. Billy Anteby says:

    The writers thoughts are expressed in an elitist, obnoxious and 'holier than thou' text. It simply portrays his ignorance. (ps I bet his kids move back to America to escape his rhetoric one day)

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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