[Avodah] Thanksgiving Harmless Holiday or Chukos HaGoyim?

Prof. L. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Thu Nov 28 08:57:43 PST 2019

I recall being at an Agudah Convention many years ago and being served turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

>From https://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/6105

Thanksgiving: Harmless Holiday or Chukos HaGoyim? « Insights into Halacha « Ohr Somayach<https://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/6105>
Biur HaGr”a (Yoreh Deah 178: end 7) and Gilyon Maharsha (ad loc. 1). The Gr”a is bothered by the fact that the sugya in Sanhedrin seems to imply differently than the views of the Maharik, Ran, and later, the Rema, that a Chok Goyim, even one that is not a Chok Avodah Zarah should still be prohibited. Others who ask this question and conclude tzarich iyun on the Maharik’s shittah include ...
>From the article

On the other hand, other contemporary authorities disagree. Rav Yitzchok Hutner[16]<https://ohr.edu/6105#_edn16> is quoted as maintaining that the establishment of Thanksgiving as an annual holiday that is based on the Christian calendar is, at the very least, closely associated with Avodah Zarah and therefore prohibited. He explains that its annual observance classifies it as a ‘holiday’ and celebrating Gentile holidays is obviously not permitted. It is well known that Rav Avigdor Miller was a strong proponent of this view as well, as Thanksgiving’s origins belay that it was actually established as a religious holiday.

See the above URL for much more.

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