Halacha Berurah: Thanksgiving Celebrations and Adapting Customs of Akum


rabbi_bohmBy Rabbi Elli Bohm

Reviewed By HaRav Yisroel Belsky

It is vital to make two points clear at the onset of this article. Firstly, we will deal primarily with pagan worship.  Secondly, in this chapter we will not be discussing our affiliation with non-Jews on a personal level. In another article, we already discussed the requirement to help needy non-Jews, give charity to their poor, visit their sick, and bury their dead. The Torah requires one to be compassionate to all mankind.  The Gemara quotes a number of sages who displayed acts of respect and extended a supporting hand towards gentiles.    Additionally, the Gemara states that righteous gentiles have a share in the world to come.  Chazal repeatedly single out virtuous non-Jews as exemplars of appropriate behavior.   Nonetheless, in protection of the very essence of the Jewish religion, the Torah takes a strong stand to prevent any interaction with or benefit from other religious practices.

The Guidelines

The Torah writes ובחוקותיהם לא תלכו, forbidding one to follow the ways of the Akum. As an introduction to the discussion of this topic, the Rambam writes the following: “The Yid should be distinguished from them (i.e. from the Akum), and distinct in his dress and his actions just as he is different from them in his knowledge and in his understanding.” There is a major dispute among the Rishonim and Acharonim regarding the parameters of this issur, which customs are included and which are not. Firstly, the basic halacha is that any of the practices that akum have for their avodah zarah are forbidden to be done by Yiddin, even if Yiddin had practiced this prior to the Akum doing so. Furthermore, even if the Torah sanctions this as a Jewish practice, Yiddin may not continue doing so if this practice was subsequently adapted by the akum as a part of their idolatrous rituals. Tosafos discuss the usage of a matzeivah, a single stone upon which korbonos were brought. The use of a matzeivah in such a fashion is mentioned many times in Sefer Bereishis. Yet, the Torah in Sefer Devorim prohibits its use, since it was eventually adapted by the Akum for avodah zarah.

A Thanksgiving Celebration

At first glance, it would seem that the source of celebrating Thanksgiving was not for any religious reason, and was instituted merely as a token of thankfulness for the success of the colonies. Consequently, it would seem to fall under the guidelines of the Maharik and taking part in celebrating Thanksgiving should be permitted. However, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that he has questions with regard to halacha whether the fact that a few colonists decided to celebrate their success should be a valid reason to continue having a celebration on that day for many years after. Therefore, Rav Moshe writes that he is hesitant to permit it and recommends that one not establish Thanksgiving as a day on which to eat turkey each year. However, if the reason why one wishes to eat turkey is not because of Thanksgiving but because he received a free turkey from his company or from someone else, then it is certainly permitted without making a party. However, one who wishes to act even more stringently should eat it on another night. Rav Moshe writes that one should preferably not schedule a chasunah or a bar mitzvah on Thanksgiving or New Years if one can make it on a different night, since there may be a problem of maaris ayin. However, one is definitely permitted to make a seudah for a pidyon haben or for a bris milah, since it is obvious that the scheduling of the seudah on that day is not because of Thanksgiving.  If one would like to schedule a chasunah or a bar mitzvah seudah on Thanksgiving since it is a day that many people are home or come home early from work, he is permitted to do so. Indeed, Rav Moshe Feinstein himself attended numerous chasunas that were made on Thanksgiving.

{Rabbi Elli Bohm is a Rosh Chaburah at Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ and author of the Halacha Berurah publications}

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  1. There was another minhag that was dropped..Why were the pants of the Pilgrims always falling down?
    Because they wore their Buckles on their hats.

  2. The following is a quote from Igros Moshe, authored by Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l.

    ??”? ????? ??? ??? ??”? ? ???? ? ?”? ?????
    ????? ????? – ???????, ??? ????? ???? ?????? ???”? ?”? ???”? ???? ?”?, ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????, ?????? ?? ???? ????????, ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??????. ??? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? – ???????, ?? ????? ????? ?????


    Rav Moshe was entertaining the possibility that it would even be forbidden to make a LEGITIMATE Simcha, like a Bar-Mitzvah or Chasunah celebration on Thanksgiving, since it would APPEAR that one is celebrating Thanksgiving!

    To THAT Rav Moshe writes that it isn’t forbidden according to the letter of the law, but still a Ba’al Nefesh shouldn’t do so!

    Then Rav Moshe continues and writes that celebrating or making a Seudah SPECIFICALLY for Thanksgiving is CERTAINLY FORBIDDEN. (???? ?? ????? ?????)

    To summarize:

    One is forbidden to celebrate Thanksgiving or make a special Seudah in its honor!

    However, to schedule a legitimate Simcha, like a Bar-Mitzvah or Chasunah, on Thanksgiving, is Halachikly permitted but a Ba’al Nefesh shouldn’t do even that, and should rather reschedule his legitimate Simcha for some other day!

    Accordingly, it would be forbidden to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

    Because if it is being eaten as a full meal; it is clearly forbidden, since it falls under the category of making a Seudah.

    And if it is just as a snack; since it is being eaten specifically in honor of Thanksgiving, it falls under the category of celebrating the holiday, something also forbidden. (When R’ Moshe writes it is forbidden to “make a Simcha”, he wasn’t referring to dancing a jig. Any way of expressing Simcha, like eating turkey expressly for Thanksgiving, is forbidden).

  3. Ben torah, just to clarify a few errors youve made again: It is assur according to R’ Moshe others disagree. And even R’ Moshe ony assurs because he doesnt accept that the pilgri, story is the real reason for the celebration, if however it was the reason (this is the part where youd have to do research) then even according to R’ Moshe there would be nothing wrong with celebrating.
    Hope this helps

  4. did you know that there are a few teshuvos that r moshe wrote? it seems from those teshuvos that he only was against it as a chumra and moreso even the chumra only applies where you do something official like singing a thansgiving song. also, u report a small little thing as if r moshe was only one to talk about this. what about rav j.b. soloveitchick, rav hutner, and others. if u are going to report halacha and you are a rosh chabura, show it and present all the knowledge there is and facts to know, not just a little quip from r moshe

  5. btw “ben torah”, im quite surprised that you would quote from chelek ches. Do you generaly accept it, or only when it suits your fancy?

  6. ben torah reread R” moshe’s tshuva youve misunderstood. It would help if you went straight to the source ie starting with the remah. If Thanksgiving isnt a religous holiday its not assur period. No machlokes no discussion. In the earlier tshuva he explains (as was explained in the above article) “he has questions with regard to halacha whether the fact that a few colonists decided to celebrate their success should be a valid reason to continue having a celebration on that day for many years after” ie the question is why is thanksgiving celebrated if it is to commerate the pilgrim story, then its not assur and les man dipalug. R’ Moshe held this wasnt the reason, rather it is a religous celebration and therfore he holds it is assur.
    again hope this helps

  7. Ben Torah explained Rav Moshe’s position (which is also discussed by Rav Belsky in this Matzav.com article we are commenting on) correctly.

  8. he did not, not even close. It is the way it is mistkingly quoted though it is not what R’ Moshe wrote. The Matzav article says something complelty different than ben torah’s wrong understanding the matzav article correctly says “However, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that he has questions with regard to halacha whether the fact that a few colonists decided to celebrate their success should be a valid reason to continue having a celebration on that day for many years after.” In other words if the reason for the celebration was in fact because “a few colonists decided to celebrate their success” then R’ moshe would agree that it is mutaris only concern was whether in fact that was the real reason. Read the tshuva its short and easy.

  9. yankel, if you would write in cohesive English, I can respond to you. But, yes, “Ben Torah” above explained Rav Moshe’s position quite correctly.

    P.S. Rav Moshe has 4 teshuvos on Thanksgiving.

  10. Dov if you have trouble with my english I can only imagine how bad your hebrew is. Get an older brother to sit down and read to you any one of R’ Moshe’s tshuvas, and hopefully that will help. I tried.

  11. On second though Dov and Ben torah allow me to break it up to you point by point if you have trouble with any point refer to that point and I’ll try to walk you through it.
    1) If thanksgiving had no religous significance (to keep it simple and to avoid the machlokes between the remah and R’ moshe on this matter(yes they argue) i mean there is a reason but it isnt religous, if this last point is lost on you dont worry about it), there would be no chashash issur in celebrating it. Much as there is no issur for a Jewish Dr. to wear a cape worn by doctors (this is the classic practical example given in rishonim) since there is a clear cut -non-religous reason for wearing them.
    2) So now the question becomes what is the basis for the thanksgiving celebration (again keep in mind if it isnt religous there is no chashaah issur and there is no machlkoes on the matter)
    3) This is where R’ moshe comes in – R’ Moshe didnt accept the pilgrim story as the basis for the thanksgiving celebration, therefore he was afraid it had a religous significance and would thus be assur.
    4) Even r’ moshe though would agree if in fact the reason for thanksgiving was the pilgrim story (a non-relgous reason) we’d be back at step 2 above and all agree it is mutar.
    This is what the article says and what R’ moshe says. Please let me know which point you have trouble with and i’d be happy to walk you through that slower

  12. joe, Youve completly misunderstood what Yankel said. Rarely have i seen someone repeat R’ Moshe’s tshuva on thanksgiving correctly, as yankel has done, show some derech eretz to those more learned than you
    Incidently I hope you practice what you preach ie:
    Do you use timers on shabbos? Rav Moshe has spoken. It is assur.

    Do you listen to music, other that at a simcha? Rav Moshe has spoken. It is assur.

    Do you make your own 7 brachos when you leave a chasuna early? Did you even know R’ Moshe holds you must?

  13. …and as he says, celebrating Thanksgiving is assur.

    If someone decides Rav Moshe is wrong, who is their posek that says so?

    Rav Moshe, Rav Hutner, Rav Miller, etc. etc. all the Charei major poskim said Thanksgiving is assur.

  14. Excellent points #19, thank you.
    And as you correctly point out, im not evn disputing R’ Moshe, just explaining his tshuva to am haratzim who cant understand hebrew (or english in the case of Dov S.)
    Thank you for understanding

  15. #20 is correct. All the Chareidi poskim agree with Rav Moshe. I challange anyone to name a single major Chareidi posek who disagrees with Rav Moshe zt”l.

  16. For crying out loud, I am explaining you what R” Moshe says dont be lazy, read his tshuva it isnt long. If you are too lazy to do that please read my above comment #17 were i walk you through it step by step, let me know which point you have trouble with.
    (and as #19 pointed out, you dont always follow r’ Moshe so stop pretending, and again I’m not even arguing on R’ Moshe)

  17. Yankel — Stop beating around the bush.

    NAME the majot Chareidi posek who disagrees with Rav Moshe — that you purportedly follow — and says Thanksgiving, for whatever reason, IS muttar!

    Name: Rav ____________________________ ?

  18. I think that its important to note R’ Solovechik ??”? of opinion . He rules that it is completely permitted. I would assume he rules this way. (as recorded in ??? ???)

    Note, I have found seen 3 teshuvos from Rav Moshe ??”? and it is very hard to pinpoint his exact opinion on this issue. On the one hand, he rules in one teshuva that its muter but baalei nefesh should be machmir (Igros Moshe Even Haezer chelek beit siman yud gimel). However, in Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim chelek hey, siman kaf, he seems to rule that its asur) (see also Igros Moshe Yorei deah chelek daled simah yud beit).

    I hope some of these mekoros will be of some help

  19. AG (#25)

    in the teshuva he writes it muttar, Rav Moshe is talking about making a Bar Mitzvah or Chasunah on Thanksgiving — NOT actually celebrating Thanksgiving itself, which he says is always assur.

    As far as Rav Soloveitchik, he is followed by the MO, not Chareidim. I don’t believe there are any major Chareidi poskim on the record disagreeing with Rav Moshe.

  20. Joe i never said thanksgiving is mutar, i said R’ Moshe would hold it is mutar reread comment #17 were walk you through it, let me know which point you have trouble with, id be more than happy to explain it to you
    Btw your approach to yiddishkeit is backwards, you dont need to find a posek who matirs it, you need to find a posek who assurs.

  21. btw joe I just realized I havent answered your question the major charedi posek I follow who says thanksgiving is muttar is Rabbi Moshe Isserlis (certainly without R’ moshe’s understanding of the remah and even with if you can understand his tshuva or The matzav article we are commenting on or my comment #17 above were i walk you through it). Charedi enough for you?
    Now your turn joe, please turn to my comment #17 and let me know where you get stuck
    point #…..?

  22. Yankele, stop being such a dreykup. Rav Moshe clearly says it is assur. And you were effectively moida no chareidi posek disagrees with Rav Moshe’s psak din that it is assur, or you would’ve long ago named any chareidi posek that argues on Rav Moshe’s psak halacha that Thanksgiving is assur.

  23. Rabosai this isnt second grade, you cant just repeat over and over R” moshe says its assur. Yankel wrote quite coherently and expalins himself qute well. In the grown up world we read through tshuvas, we look up their mareh mekomos. Yankel seems to have done that, if you dont understand he is offering to explain himself. Paratoing over and over “R’ Moshe says its assur” is quite childish
    Incidently I love it that all of a sudden chelek ches is so mekubal

  24. Yankele, Now you are really being a dreykup. We both now the Rema didn’t pasken regarding Thanksgiving, yet Rav Moshe Feinstein did pasken regarding Thanksgiving in the Igros Moshe. We also both know that Rav Moshe Feinstein knew the Rema a lot lot better than you did.

    I’m through with your dreying Yankele. You can have the last word and even make another 10 comments on this thread repeating the same narishkeit you’ve been repeating over and over and over again above.

  25. Reb Moshe’s psak that its assur to celebrate Thanksgiving is in the earlies volumes of Igros Moshe, not just chelek ches.

    Reb Moshe repeatedly paskened its assur, there is no doubt about his psak. And he repeatedly issued the psak to make sure he was clear. And I’ve seen NO ONE disagreeing with Reb Moshe that is on his caliber.

  26. Um Chaim ok so it seems you are new to halacha allow me to introduce you to the beauty of halacha. The Remah did in fact pasken on thanksgiving (not literaly on thanksgiving obviously but on general rules from which we can derive the halacha for thanksgiving.)
    Secondly not only did R’ moshe know the remah better than I, he actually argues on the Remah (or you can kvetch it in to the Remah in which case it is a very unique understanding of the Remah)
    I have attempted to walk you through this but you are reluctnat to help me help you. It seems Am haratzae shal prevail as usual, not for my lack of trying.
    If you want to learn I’d be more than happy to help you along, as Ive said in the past. I suspect you prefer am haaratzos.

  27. I have some free time, so for you or anyone else who is interested, here goes
    here is where the remah discusses thanksgiving (wikisource, i dont have my seforim in fromt of me but ive gone through the sugya many times before as it comes up every year)
    y”d 178:1
    MECHABER – One [i.e., a Jew] should not follow the customs of non-Jews (nor should one try to resemble them). One should not wear clothing that is particular to them [i.e., their culture]; one should not grow forelocks on one’s head like the forelocks on their heads; one should not shave the sides [of one’s head] and grow one’s hair in the middle of one’s head [like they do]; one should not shave the hair in front of one’s face from ear to ear and let one’s hair grow [in the back] [like they do]; one should not build places [i.e., buildings]—like the non-Jews’ temples—so that large groups of people will enter them, like [non-Jews] do.

    RAMA: Rather, one [i.e., a Jew] should be distinct from them [i.e., non-Jews] in one’s manner of dress and in all of one’s actions. But all of this [i.e., these restrictions] apply only to things that non-Jews do for the sake of licentiousness. For example, they are accustomed to wearing red clothing, which is official/princely clothing, and other clothing that is similarly immodest. [These restrictions also apply] to things that they are accustomed to doing because of a custom or rule that does not have a[ny underlying] reason, out of concern that [a Jew who does such things will follow the] “ways of the Amorites,” and that it has the blemish of [i.e., is tainted by] idol worship inherited from their ancestors. But things that they are accustomed to doing for a useful purpose—such as their custom for expert doctors to wear particular clothing so that the doctors will be recognized as specialists—one is permitted to wear [such clothing]. Similarly, things that are done out of respect or another reason, it is permitted [for one to do such things]. And therefore they said one may burn [the items of deceased] kings, and there is not in this “the ways of the Amorites.”

    Thus what is black and white and nobody argues is that if something has a good reason for its being done it is mutar. And if it is a result of avodeh zarah it is assur. Period, nobody disputes this point this is an elaboration of point #1 in my comment #17.

    Therfore if Thanksgiving has a good reason for its being celebrated, there is a biferesh remah that it is mutar.
    So far so good?

    However where it gets confusing is that there is a gap between the two categories that the Remah discusses. Namely what if something doesnt have a good reason for being celebrated, ie it is a silly custom but there is no chashash that its mekor is avoda zarah. On this the Remah isnt clear.

    A simple reading of the remah would indicate that it is mutar (assuming again that there is no chashash that it is avoda zarah.)
    R’ moshe however has a unique understanding of the Remah (I dont remeber if he says this legabei thanksgiving per se, but he certanly held this in other places and his reason is uniform throughout) He holds that doing anything with no reson – is fort Avodez zara (again you can kvetch this into the remah, but pashtus this isnt what the remah is saying, regardless, the rest holds true so if youve made it this far, read on)
    Thus R’ Moshe held that the pilgrim story isnt a good enough reason to celebrate thanksgiving, therfore lishitoso it is fort avodeh zara and obviously assur to celebrate.

    however if there was a good reson for celebrating thanksgiving (and obviously this is a bit subjective, wikipedia may help with your resarch) Then R’ Moshe would also hold it is mutar. (step 4 above)
    (Again though pashut peshat in Remah says it is mutar, but this was never my main point)

    (I dont celebrate thanksgiving btw makes no sense to me, we get together the next night anyway, however torah is torah, and am haaratzos must be defeated)

  28. Rabbosai,

    “Yankel” holds only he knows halacha, — even better than Rav Moshe — and all you commenter’s are mere amaratzim while he is the godol. No point in arguing with “Yankel”.


    Rather than trying to kvetch out a pshat for Thanksgiving from the Rema, please refer us to a posek who says anything remotely like your personal “teitch”. It is true that Rabbi Yosef Soloveitchik said Thanksgiving is okay (from what I heard), but the Chareidishe oilem doesn’t hold from his shittos, as you well know. They do hold from Rav Moshe.

    Who from the Chareidish poskim said *specifically regarding Thanksgiving* that its okay to celebrate? IOW, not your teitch of a Rishon or Achron from prior to Thanksgiving existing. A posek who — like Rav Moshe — addressed Thanksgiving specifically.

    I suspect, my dear “Yankel” none such posek exists, other than your personal psak and/or personal teichings.

  29. Am haaratzim stop repeating yourself over and over that R’ moshe says its assur, read R’ Yankel’s comments (clearly a talmid chacham) and mention what he has wrong/ where you think he is making a mistake.
    He doesnt seem to be kvetching anything from the Remah, I looked it up, and it says EXACTLY what R’ Yankel claims it does. Is there anyone who can counter his tainas with some lomdus and not just repeated naarishkeit. He even breaks it down into manageble chunks, to make it easier, yet nobody seems to manage.

  30. Since “Yankel” cannot produce a chareidi Posek who says he disagrees with Rav Moshe — the Posek HaDor — specifically on the question of Thanksgiving, he can be ignored.

  31. emes, thank you for your kind words. Dont hold your breath I know im not.
    Its funny how I am not arguing on R’ Moshe, nor am I forcing anyone to do anything, yet the mere idea that something MIGHT be muttar sends these am haratzim into a frenzy.
    I had a Rebbi who used to warn us to be carful of a “heter shein hatzibur yachal lamed bo” how often am i reminded how right he was unforunatly.

  32. Excellent Yankel, what you are saying is actualy written in the article “However, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that he has questions with regard to halacha whether the fact that a few colonists decided to celebrate their success should be a valid reason to continue having a celebration on that day for many years after” Exactly as youve been saying. Dont feel bad, youre efforts have not been lost on everyone, thank you for your elucidation of this important sugya.
    I love it that NOT ONE person has actualy chalenged anything that you have written, with any svara whatsoever, our society is in a very sad state, thank you for the breath of fresh air.

  33. Kol hakoved Yankel very well written.
    to all those who have not responded to Yankel other than saying “but r’ moshe says…” you are embarassing yourselves, more importantly, you are embarasing R’ Moshe and more importantly You are embarrasing the torah. Torah Doesnt work that way, all discussion isnt thrown out the window, because “R’ Moshe says…” Moreover, R’ Moshe himself writes in his hakdama that he is writing down his “train of thought” so to speak for others to folow, to see if they reach the same conclusion. Not ch”v to replace Shulcha aruch and 2000 years worth of written tshuvas etc. Yankel has done just that, and HAS NOT ARGUED ON R’ MOSHE. Reread his comment, it isnt hard to follow, he doesnt argue with R’ Moshe he helps clarify R’ Moshe’s position.
    Dont be afraid be meayin, and respond accordingly. Yagdil Torah veyadir, please dont be mevaze yourself, and certainly not R” moshe and al achas kama vekam not the torah.

  34. Yankel – I like your vertelech, but like numerous posters have asked you, in order for it to be taken seriously you need to present at least ONE POSEK who disagrees with Rav Moshe in the inyan of Thanksgiving; not your own vertel on a Rema.

    Realize that while Rav Moshe of course says others can disagree with him, that doesn’t mean every yankel am haaretz (no pun intended) off the street can disagree with Rav Moshe!!

    Looking forward to seeing if you have any contemporary poskim in your sleeve that address Thanksgiving…

    Yasher Koach

  35. Yasher Koach to “Ben Torah” — Comment #2, with your succinct and on the button comment addressing the issue at hand.

    (Amidst all the bickering, at least one comment shines.)

  36. psik reishe, i assume you meant “pun intended” otherwise your comment is mean, which of course is fine though doesnt fit with the rest of your nice comment.
    Its not a vertel on the Remah, its bifersh, (check it again). I Dont NEED to do anything I am not trying to convinve others to celebrate thanksgiving, and as i mentioned nor do i celebrate it myself. And besides, as I and others pointed out, I am not disagreeing on r’ moshe so i’m not sure why i need to find someone who does.
    As Baruch pointed out, yidishkeit isnt a game of who says what, I assume you have a shulchan aruch in your home, You dont just have a Rav on speed dial. we are talking in learning, and ive explained r’ moshes shita on thanksgiving and not one person is able to challenge me on that.
    Looking forward to see if you (or anyone else) can address my point on thanksgiving (in comment #17 Ive broken it down nicely, its in more detail in comment #34)

    Baruch – thanks for your kind words
    Alexander – my Rebbi is R’ Dovid Feinstien my father learnt in MTJ and our family has maintained a kesher ever since, bet you didnt see that coming

  37. psik reisha – I think you mean “pun intended” otherwise the comment isnt nice in an otherwise nicely written comment. I dont NEED to bring any poskim, I dont care if anyone actually wants to celebrate thanksgiving, as Ive said I dont, I am just trying to explain r’ moshe as ive said I am not arguing! read comment #17 or 34 were I explain his shitah.
    Torah isnt a game of which posek says what. I assume you have a shulchan aruch at home, you dont just have your posek’s number in your seforim shrank. We are talking in learning and NOT ONE person has been able to respond to my point coherently, I guess Ive come to the wrong place.
    Looking forward to seeing if you or anyone else can address my point… (again see commnet 17 above)

    Baruch – thank you for your kind words
    Alexander – my rebbi is R’ Dovid Feinstein. My father learnt in MTJ (thats why i have more than superficial understanding of R’ moshe’s tshuvas) and our family has maintained a kesher ever since. I bet you didnt see that coming

  38. Sorry, that was a typo. Obviously I didn’t mean it that way.

    Regarding Rav Moshe: considering Rav Moshe paskened that the metzius is that Thanksgiving has religious overtones, and Rav Yitzchok Hutner and Rav Avigdor Miller similarly said Thanksgiving has religious overtones, I must insist that you bring a POSEK — on par with these great Gedolim — that disagree with Rav Moshe, Rav Hutner, and Rav Miller on this point. I honestly am not interested in what anyone on the street thinks the metzius is. To the best of my knowledge — and I still await anyone wishing to correct with additional facts — NO posek on par with Rav Moshe and the others, disagree with them on this metzius.

    Yasher Koach

    P.S. I agree with those that complimented Ben Torah’s comment #2 for its accuracy.

  39. Um psik reisha, you do NOT agree with Ben torah (nor should you he is further from the emes than you)
    he says and I quote “Rav Moshe says Thanksgiving is NOT a religious holiday, but NEVERTHELESS forbids Thanksgiving ”
    you say quite the opposite “Rav Moshe paskened that the metzius is that Thanksgiving has religious overtones” which while still wrong is a lot closer to what R’ Moshe actualy held. (I am not familiar with R’ Hutner and R’ Miller on the matter, so i cant address that.)
    At least you are closer to the truth than anyone thus far, since the question is now what the metzius of thanksgiving is, couldnt it be argued that a historian would be more helpful than a posek in determing the metzius of a goyish celebration? Again I am not arguing on R’ Moshe I am just saying (which you seem to get) that if there where a good non-religous reason for celebrating thanksgiving (which I”m not saying there is) R’ moshe would agree it is mutar.
    Again i dont celebrate thanksgiving, and i am not convincing anyone to.
    A good situation to help clarify this, is what would r’ Moshe hold about celebrating July 4th “kihilchaso” ie flag bbq fireworks etc. He would of course hold 100% mutar since there is a good non-religous reason for its celebration,

  40. The content of Comment #2 is entirely accurate. I am not addressing any follow ups.

    Provide a POSEK who disagrees with the metzius Rav Moshe described, and we can talk. Otherwise there is nothing to discuss.

  41. I will name a posek that sort of permits Thanksgiving-Rav Moshe Feinstein. Look it up:
    Igros Moshe:
    EH 2:13-discusses making a wedding and bar mitzvah on Thanksgiving
    OC 5:20:6- assurs Thanksgiving but holds not religious, just silly custom and therefore prohibited
    YD 4:11:4- permits Thanksgiving! In contradiction with psak before
    YD 4:12- clarifies position and why he contradicted
    At the end of his final psak he concludes:
    ????? ?? ????? ?????.??????? ?????? ?????
    ???? ?????? ?????? ?????, ???? ?? ??? ???
    ????????, ?? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ????
    ???? ???? ??,??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ?????
    ??????? ????. ????? ????? ???? ???? ?????
    ???????? ??? ?????? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ?????
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    I also recommend looking at what Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro shlit”a says. The link is posted above. He brings up the possibility that Rav Moshe tz”l was misinformed about the origins of the holiday.