Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Hakoras Hatov (Thanksgiving)

It is a disturbing trend that being patriotic has fallen out of fashion with the Yeshivish set.

We aren't allowed to Pledge Allegiance anymore, to say nothing of singing our National Anthem.

And celebrate Thanksgiving??!?! Why, in some circles, buying a turkey is looked upon as something akin to installing a Norway Spruce in your living room....

Please forgive me, but I'm not sure why this is.

It seems to me that our country has done a lot for us - especially since we are in Golus and some of us take far more liberties than we have rights to.

It also seems to me that the segment of the population that is most vociferous in railing against celebrating our national holiday of thanks, are the same ones that have no compunction in availing themselves of the services and programs that our wonderful country offers. In my humble opinion, if you are on Medicaid, Food Stamps, Welfare, collect Social Security and/or Section 8, you should have MORE to give thanks for this week rather than less!

And don't give me that tired old response, "In Judaism, every day is Thanksgiving (or Mother's Day, etc.). I'll give you my favorite response, "In Judaism, we are also required to remember Yetziyas Mitzrayim every day of our lives, and yet...Hashem still gives us a special holiday (Pesach) to commemorate it". If our country sets aside a specific day to give thanks, it is a TREMENDOUS chillul Hashem for us to davka ignore it. And please don't quote me as saying you must have Thanksgiving Dinner.... just taking a little notice of the day would suffice.

I wonder if part of the problem isn't the "Es Kumpt Mir" generation. Those that don't work and are used to getting everything handed to them on a silver platter, do not feel that they need to give thanks.... worse than that, they do everything in their power to get out of giving our country it's due ("so how much is it if I pay cash?").

I for one, have no difficulty saying a proud "THANK YOU" to my country this week. If not for this country, my family would have died out in the holocaust. This country has bent over backwards to provide for my religious freedom, so much so that when my dear brethern get themselves arrested or worse, they are given kosher food, minyonim and mikvo'os......

I thank you, I thank you and I deeply apologize to my country for any of my own that don't feel the need to do the same.


Anonymous said...

Amen to everything you said. Especially your answer to "Every day is Thanksgiving." That statement is so inane (to say nothing of the smugness which accompanies this reply) and, like you, I always give the answer about our yomim tovim. We always thank Hashem for all the great miracles that He has done for us. And yet, we thank Him especially for certain miracles on certain days of the year. (Shabbos is also a related example.)

Happy Thanksgiving.

(By the way, you expect people who collect food stamps etc. to have the decency thank America. If they have that decency, they wouldn't be taking/"stealing" these food stamps to begin with.)

Ookamikun said...

You forgot Purim and Chanukkah. Those people should stop celebrating them too, especially since they're not biblical holidays.

It's a real shame that this kind of attitude, infighting, ingratitude, etc are inversely proportional to Jewish population density in a given place. These people think they're already living in Israel because of the number of Jews around them and they consider everything their due.