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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Toikey Day

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

When I was a kid, we always did. In fact, it was an affair for the extended family. We all gathered at the home of my one frum Aunt and had a big Toikey dinner.

Since I've moved to Milwaukee, I've found that I'm in the minority. The Wearers of Black (WOB) have pish-poshed it, calling it a "goyishe yontif," not appropriate to be observed by Jews.

Here's the interesting part: The WOB are for the most part American born, and many of them are Baale Tshuva, who come from families that celebrated Thanksgiving. My family are all European born, many from families that were Chassidic before the Holocaust, and started celebrating Thanksgiving after immigrating to the US.

My family certainly don't think there's anything un-Jewish about loving America or eating turkey. They come from countries that for 1000 years were Hell-bent on wiping them out, and finally did wipe out the vast majority of them. They love the US, and the freedom that they found here.

The WOB look at that same freedom as curse, because with the freedom to worship as we choose, comes the freedom to engage in secular pursuits, entertainment, and the escape from our Jewishness. Perhaps they subscribe to the notion that Jews can only flourish under the threat of persecution, and see Thanksgiving, which is a celebration of the freedom granted by America, as the key to our eventual undoing.

Me? I just like a big toikey. And maybe it's nice once in while to get together with the extended family, without worrying about driving on Yontif or who's going to stay where, or spending hours in Shul or at some boring simcha.

And yes, I'm proud to be an American who wears a Yarmulke.


DovBear said...

May the lord grant you success in all your endeavors.

Note Thangsgiving and upshurim are equally goyish, but you would not know it from our culture.

MoChassid said...

"You cut the Toikey???!!!"

PsychoToddler said...


awesome movie

dilbert said...

Avalon- horrible movie. after 5 minutes I kept thinking "that would be a good time to end the movie". its the only one I seriously thought of walking out of before the end. The Toikey cutting was the only good line, the rest was BORING.

signed, Siskel, ob'm

DovBear said...

Avalon was great. Reminded me at least that not all Jews alive today had an ancestor who went through the holocaust, escaped the communists, and so on.
I like Mr. Saturday Night for the same reason.

PsychoToddler said...

Don't get me STARTED....

Bronco Buddha said...

What's wrong with giving Thanks? The argument I heard against it from some clad in black is that Jews are supposed to give thanks every day and the goyim only do it once a year. But so what? Turkey tastes good and giving Thanks is important, whenever you do it.

Besides, everyone knows that the true purpose of the holiday is to get together with family to watch football. And what could be bad about that?

Mindy said...

yuck - i hate turkey.

Anshel's Wife said...

T-day was always a big deal in my family. When I first got married, we always had big T-day dinners. But my husband and his family are all from Russia and it was just another opportunity to go to someone else's house for a party. Didn't seem to mean much to them. And then when we became frum and no one else in the community did T-day (or admitted to it), we just kind of stopped it, too. My kids actually go to cheder on T-day. Only half a day, though.

I do miss it. I can have turkey whenever I want, sure. But having it on T-day was something special. My mom had all kinds of decorations and stuff.

Well, maybe this year I can talk my husband into at least making a turkey on that certain Thursday. But not for any reason other than I like the taste of it best on T-day.