Re: Celebrating American holidays

Sun, 27 Jul 1997 15:05:41, -0500

When Rabbi Shlomo Riskin was the Rabbi at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in
New York City (before he made aliya and became Chief Rabbi of Efrat,
Israel), he encouraged the congregants to "celebrate" Thanksgiving.
Specifically, he encouraged us to have a special meal, and to "make kiddush"
(i.e., to make the brocha "borei pri hagafen" and drink some wine). Rabbi
Riskin encouraged us to do this because the American Thanksgiving holiday is
based upon thanking G-d for sustaining us, which is a very Jewish thing to
do, and is in fact something we should all do every day anyhow. I think
Rabbi Riskin also said that "celebrating" Thanksgiving is a way to thank
Hashem for all that He has done for us in the U.S., but I am not positive
about this. (It may have been one of the congregants who suggested this idea.)

Jeff Zuckerman