Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving Day’
Meir Soloveitch writes in the WSJ about the origins of the Shearith Israel synagogue: God Delivered the Pilgrims—and My People
Thanksgiving always had particular resonance for one group of religious freedom-seekers.
As with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, the origins of Shearith Israel trace back to a small group of religious freedom-seekers and a treacherous ocean passage to the New World. In September 1654, 23 Jews set sail from Recife, Brazil, where the Portuguese Inquisition had made practicing Judaism impossible. Intending to return to Europe but captured by pirates mid-voyage, they gave themselves up for lost—until, as a congregational history puts it, “God caused a savior to arise unto them, the captain of a French ship arrayed for battle, and he rescued them out of the hands of the outlaws . . . and conducted them until they reached the end of the inhabited earth called New Holland.”
Once arrived safely in New Holland, better known as New Amsterdam, the refugees formed the first Jewish community in North America. From the start, they remained loyal to their faith: praying together, ensuring the availability of kosher meat, and observing their holidays. For these individuals, the symbolism of lighting the Hanukkah candles in the dark of winter must have been especially resonant, at one with the dawning presence of Judaism in the New World.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Shearith Israel—the name means “the remnant of Israel”—was importing its clergy from Europe. But by 1768, it was ready to hire its first American-born minister, Gershom Mendes Seixas. And it is here that the story of Shearith Israel becomes forever intertwined with the story of Thanksgiving—and of America.
Read about how it did here
It was his first presidential proclamation, and it was well heeded. According to the “Papers of George Washington,” compiled by the University of Virginia, Thanksgiving Day was “widely celebrated throughout the nation.” Newspapers around the country published the proclamation and announced plans for public functions in honor of the day. Religious services were held, and churches solicited donations for the poor. Washington himself sent $25 to a pastor in New York City, requesting that the funds be “applied towards relieving the poor of the Presbyterian Churches,” in the words of his secretary.
Thanksgiving feasts in New England at the time of the nation’s founding were similar to those today, says Charles Lyle, director of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, Conn. The museum recently hosted an 18th-century-style Thanksgiving dinner using recipes supplied by a local food historian, Paul Courchaine. Turkey and pumpkin pie were on the menu, along with venison pie, roast goose, roast pork, butternut squash, creamed onions, pottage of cabbage, onions and leeks, and Indian pudding, made from cornmeal and spices.
In a bow to contemporary tastes, several wines were served at the museum but not the one Americans were likely to have drunk in the 18th century—Madeira, a high-alcohol-content wine fortified with brandy. Before the Revolution, Madeira, which came from the Portuguese-owned Madeira Islands, was considered a patriotic beverage, since it was not subject to British taxation. It was Washington’s favorite drink.
Washington was keenly aware of his role as a model for future presidents. He once remarked that “There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not be hereafter drawn into precedent.” That included his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, which set the standard for Thanksgiving Proclamations by future presidents, a list that included James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and then every president up to the present day.
Roger’s having champagne and port while celebrating eudaimonia.
Time for apple and pecan pie!
A few food-related tasty items on Thanksgiving Day,
Obama thought pardoning a turkey prevented a shellacking. While he claims he doesn’t think about Sarah Palin, whose daughter Bristol took third place in the final, he mentioned Dancing With The Stars,
He discussed the process for selecting the turkeys earning a presidential pardon, which involves contestants “strutting their stuff” before judges as music plays.
“It’s kind of like a turkey version of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ except the stakes for the contestants was much higher,” said the president.”Only one pair would survive and win the big prize: life.”
Speaking of Palin, she killed a fish before she ate it. Jazz has more on that, so I’ll just say that I prefer my fish dead even if it’s sushi.
Elsewhere, Taranto’s writing about the Donkey Turkeys who believe that the Congressional shellacking was due to your stupidity and to Obama being too far to the right. I beg your pardon?
Back at the White House, Michelle Obama OKs Americans to Eat Pie on Thanksgiving. I’m sure we all were holding out until we got the First Lady’s OK, since we’re not smart enough to decide on our own.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!
Cross-posted at Hot Air.
Thanksgiving Day is just two days away, and now there’s scientific evidence that being thankful is good for you:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families and schools than those who don’t, studies show.
There’s even a gratitude quiz.
Not that gratitude is that easy to attain,
gratitude is actually a demanding, complex emotion that requires “self-reflection, the ability to admit that one is dependent upon the help of others, and the humility to realize one’s own limitations,” Dr. Emmons says.
Ah, humility. Where would us bloggers be without it?
Cross-posted at Hot Air
Silvio posts the Thanksgiving Declaration.
No Sheeples Here checks out the Prescription for Truth
Eric‘s home after a lot of travel.
The Anchoress is thankful on Thanksgiving.
The Cotillion‘s back up and celebrating Thanksgiving.
And no Thanksgiving Day is complete without this:
Jules Crittenden has a list of things to be thankful for, among them,
The tide of history remains opposed to tyranny. One of the worst of the modern era, Saddam’s Baathist regime, is out of business. In Gaza, in Burma, in Zimbabwe, in Sudan, in China, in Georgia, in North Korea and Iran, while tyranny still exists, it is widely condemned. For all the rhetoric we sometimes hear, people know where the tyrants live. The values and freedoms nurtured in America and exported, gratis, at the expense of our own nation’s blood and treasure, are the values and freedoms most widely admired, and desired where they are not already emulated in the world.
Go read the rest.
Right now I am thankful for all the people who come to this blog and listen to my podcasts, and to all the people I have come in contact with or met through this blog.
A blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day to all.
(might even blog more today while dinner cooks!)
The staff at the NYT is antsy.
Yesterday Gail Collins wanted Bush & Cheney to quit so Nancy could take over until Obama’s January inaguration.
If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day.
For Thanksgiving Day at the grey lady, whiiiine and cheese: “What do we want? Change! When do we want it? Now!”