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Thanksgiving

Rabbi David SperlingKislev 3, 5772
379
Question
I understand there is a "machloket" if it is ok to celebrate thanksgiving or not. what is the majority of the ashkenazi poskim hold for? can u send me links to thier psika?
Answer
Shalom, You are certainly correct that there exists an argument amongst religious thought as to how one should relate to Thanksgiving. Let me first say that this question is only one that should concern Americans living in America. Obviously, other Jews who live in other countries, should not be concerned with this question at all - except for the intellectual interest of learning Torah thoughts about all topics. This includes those Americans who have made Aliyah, and now merit to live in Israel. In the words of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, the Rosh Yeshiva of Har Etzion, "its celebration in Israel is ideologically inexcusable. 'It reminds us of home' shows that people consider galut their home, not just their birthplace. While it is important to make a positive contribution to a society while there, a Jew should always remember that they are 'away from home' when in galut, and when they return to Eretz Israel, they don't need to be reminded of 'home'". (from B. Posy, "Thanksgiving at an Israeli Yeshiva" in the name of Rav Lichtenstein shlit"a). For a good discussion of the question of celebrating Thanksgiving (for Jews living in America) you may see an article by Rav M. Broyde, found at tfdixie.com website (http://www.tfdixie.com/special/thanksg.htm#A01). I do not believe there is a standard "pesak" on this question - and each person should follow their own community customs, or local Rabbi. May we all merit to return to the Land of Israel, and give thanks with a full heart to the Holy One who gathers in His exiles. Blessings, D. Sperling
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