"Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
- Arlo Guthrie, "Alice's Restaurant"
For Thanksgiving 2005, my first as a bereaved father - and, not coincidentally, as a blogger - I posted what I was thankful for. Looking at the list a year later, I don't think I'd change a word. So click on that link above, and I'll simply say "amen".
Now for this year, I'll turn on the circular logic mode and list the reasons I'm thankful for Thanksgiving itself:
- A holiday with the big festive fleichig meal, but without any requirement to clean all leaven out of the house, eat outside in a freezing thatched booth, wear a suit, sit until after noon in endlessly drayed-out services, etc. Yes, all those things have their place in my heart (well maybe not the last one!) but it's kind of relaxing, just this once, to have the feast without the Festival.
- On a related note, being able to spend the holiday with family and then drive home afterwards (or have them do so). No packing and unpacking, no kids sleeping on the floor, yippee!
- American Thanksgiving coming at the end of November instead of mid-October like in Canada. If I were Canadian I know I'd be saying, "this is all we need - another holiday sandwiched in this month with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Shmini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah!"
- All my kids' schools having tomorrow off. This didn't used to be the case when my boys were in their elementary school, but in those days I would simply keep them home. Thanksgiving was the only day on that school's calendar that I refused, on principle, to support.
- Rav Soloveichik, for giving me a halachic leg to stand on in proudly celebrating this holiday as an Orthodox Jewish American.
- That we consider turkey to be a kosher bird - this wasn't a slam dunk either!
- Once a year, to get to hear this lyric on the radio: "I said, 'Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill! I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL!' And I started jumpin up and down yelling, 'KILL, KILL,' and he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, 'KILL, KILL.' And the Sergeant came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, 'You're our boy!'..."
- Being able to make all my annual, corny "Frums-giving" jokes: e.g., "Hinay muchan umizuman likayam mitzvas achilas tarnigol hodu...", "Make sure to eat your kizayis of turkey within nine minutes!", "Don't forget to dip the turkey in the cranberry sauce and then shake the sauce off", "Oh no, I forgot yaalah viyavo by mincha!", etc. (Sorry, if I translate all those terms it will simply ruin the jokes!)