Thanksgiving come from?
"Chag ha-Sukkot," or 'the
holiday of Sukkot,' is a holiday of
thanksgiving, named after the sukkah or
temporary hut which the Israelites built and
lived in during their
wanderings in the Sinai desert, and which we
Jews build and "dwell" in for seven days,
eating all our meals there with many people
even sleeping in their sukkot (plural
of sukkah). Sukkot also has an agricultural
aspect to it, as it celebrates the
ingathering of the fall harvest and giving
thanks to G-d for His bounty and sustenance.
This is evident in the other name by which
Sukkot is known in Hebrew, which is "Chag
ha-Assif," or the "Harvest Ingathering
What to do
with Turkey leftovers:
The Pilgrims were known to be very
religious. They were very well versed in the
Bible (the Jewish Torah) and the holidays
prescribed by it. They knew about the three
Pilgrimage Holidays of the Jews of which
Sukkot (translated not-so-correctly into
English as "The Feast of Tabernacles") is
the third and last in the sequence of
Passover and Shavuot (known in English as
"Pentecost"). The English word 'Tabernacle'
does not really reflect what the holiday is
about because it refers to the
traveling sanctuary the Israelites had in
the desert, not the temporary "booths" or
sukkot in which they dwelled.
So where does Thanksgiving come in? As
stated above, the Pilgrims were cognizant of
the Jewish Biblical holiday of thanksgiving
to G-d for His bounty, and after
wanting to give thanks to G-d for the
bountiful harvest, and for surviving in the
New World (where they might have looked upon
themselves as the "new Israelites" in a
"new Promised Land"), they looked to the
Torah for a model--which they found in the
holiday of Sukkot.
There are historical accounts indicating
that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated
for three days with feasting and rejoicing,
modeled after Sukkot, which is a seven-day holiday during which we are enjoined to
be joyful, as is written in the Torah in
Leviticus 23:40, "And ye shall take you on
the first day the fruit of goodly trees,
branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick
trees, and willows of the brook, and ye
shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven
know that at one point, Benjamin Franklin
wanted the turkey to be our national bird
instead of the Bald Eagle? In a letter
to his daughter, he said about the turkey:
. . . He is besides, though a
little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and
would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of
the British Guards who should presume to
invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
moreover, was a true 'native American,'
being indigenous to the eastern United
States and to northern Mexico, and was
prevalent in the time of the Pilgrims.
But it seems more likely that they used
other fowl and animals, such as duck, goose,
deer, and possibly even seal and cod at
their Thanksgiving feast of 1621.
interesting note is that the Hebrew name for
turkey is "Tarnigol Hodu. Part of the
name, "Hodu," means "give thanks."
Wouldn't it be interesting if the Pilgrims
knew that--they were very well versed in the
Torah, after all--and that is why they chose
the turkey to be the mainstay of the menu,
on the day they 'gave thanks' to G-d?!
- brightly colored growths on the throat
region. Turns bright red when the turkey
is upset or during courtship.
- a part of a bird's stomach that contains
tiny stones. It helps them grind up food
- Hen - a
- Poult -
a baby turkey. A chick.
- Snood -
the flap of skin that hangs over the
turkey's beak. Turns bright red when the
turkey is upset or during courtship.
- Tom - a
male turkey. Also known as a gobbler.
- Wattle -
the flap of skin under the turkey's chin.
Turns bright red when the turkey is upset
or during courtship.
Scientific genus and species: Meleagris
Pumpkins on Thanksgiving?
Colonists landed in North America they found
the Indians growing and using pumpkins. This
large, ungainly fruit was enthusiastically
embraced by the new Americans and
subsequently pumpkin pie became a national
Thanksgiving tradition. It was so loved that
one early Connecticut colony delayed
Thanksgiving because the molasses needed to
make this popular pie wasn't readily
available. Large, round and orange, the
pumpkin is a member of the gourd family,
which also includes muskmelon, watermelon
and squash. Its orange flesh has a mild,
sweet flavor and the seeds-husked and
roasted-are delicately nutty. Pumpkin seeds
are commonly known as pepitas.