Dear Kosher Spirit,
I read your Chanukah issue with great interest. I always enjoy Kosher Spirit for its informative articles. I especially enjoy reading details on hashgacha, since my brother in law is a mashgiach in the food industry. Your articles address some of the intricate issues he deals with.

While reading the article Soul Nutrition, I was amazed at the facts presented. However, when reading the closing sentence I was appalled! To write, “So on November 28th, 2013, enjoy your turkey and your latkes,” is, in my opinion an outright offense. The holiday of Thanksgiving is clearly a Christian one. To celebrate it is in the category of idolatry, which is one of the three grave sins a person must give his life for.  Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal was known to say that it is an issur d’oraisa to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Yes, I am aware of how much turkey is sold in the kosher stores this season. But to encourage it? I would expect better editing from such a professional magazine.

With much Hatzlacha,

Kosher Spirit responds:

Dear FT,
Thank you for your letter. We appreciate the points you brought forward, but according to other poskim, Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday or one based in avoda zara. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l writes (paraphrased), “In regards to joining a Thanksgiving party, since this is not brought down in the non-Jewish writings as a holiday, and it is just a remembrance of those who lived here, there is no issur to make a meal and eat turkey at the meal.” (Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:11:4, see Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:12.)  

In addition, in a Sicha on 19 Kislev 5747, the Lubavitcher Rebbe ztz”l praises Thanksgiving as the foundation of America, and confirmation that our country was built on faith in G-d as our Creator and Director. The Rebbe connects Chanukah and Thanksgiving, saying that both are days that we commemorate saving the righteous from the hands of evil and the weak from the strong.

I am sorry you took offense, but as you see, there are differing halachic and hashkafic opinions on the issue.

Best wishes for a Freilichen Chanukah!

Dear Kosher Spirit,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my letter. I must say that you shed light on an issue that has been bugging me for a long time of why so many Yidden are indeed celebrating with eating turkey etc. Once again, I enjoy each one of your Kosher Spirit magazines from cover to cover.


P.S. The 8 facts on the eye were amazing! What nifloes haboira!

* Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space constraints.