So do I have any Thanksgiving traditions? That's what "Jane" a reader from Teaneck wants to know. "You religiously provide us with rundowns for yom Kippur and pesach", she writes, "so what about Thanksgiving?"
The true answer is it varies, which makes me accidentally in compliance with Rav Moshe who ruled that keeping Thanksgiving was OK for a religious Jew as long as you didn't make it into a binding annual obligation.
Some years we celebrate with friends or family and a turkey. Other years we skip the feast and treat it like any other day. A few things happen every year:
My kids gripe about going to school
My wife points out that preparing a typical American Thanksgiving feast is about as difficult as making a shabbos dinner. She can't understand why people need reams of instruction and several days of advance preparation in order to put one main dish and a couple of sides on the table. "I could do it in three hours she says"
I get into a fight with some yokel who thinks Thanksgiving has a religious component and is therefore off limits for Jews.
In the years that we do make a dinner party the menu usually looks something like this
Roasted sweet potatoes
String beans with garlic
Though next year I think we'll try frog eye salad, a concoction of pasta and cool whip that the New York Times says is a staple of the Mormon Thanksgiving.
Search for more information about ### at4torah.com