As thanksgiving draws closer and you can’t sneeze without hitting a pumpkin, we encounter the dilemma once again of
“Yes turkey day vs No turkey day?” It's obviously a beautiful tradition - but is it a ‘non-jewish custom’ and therefore not for us of the Jewish persuasion to celebrate? Or is it simply a national tradition of giving thanks to the Almighty (whatever you may choose to call Him/Her) for all our bounty and for the opportunity to practice our religious freedoms proudly and openly in this country, and therefore perfectly aligned with the Jewish tradition of Hallel and gratitude! (Can you tell which one I lean to? ;) The Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke often and proudly about the concept of Thanksgiving as a positive idea that reminds all citizens of this country about the foundations upon which it was built - that of a belief in a Supreme Being, and our gratitude to that Creator, for all of our bounty. So, in honor of this great country in which we are able to practice our Judaism openly and proudly, I have created a pumpkin challah... it combines the grand Americana tradition of seasonal pumpkin, with our own great mitzvah of challah which in fact, is all about gratitude and recognizing the Source of our blessings! Today I’m going to show you a cute little technique to make little challah rolls that look just like mini pumpkins. It's easy and fun, and I even include a sinfully delicious cinnamon maple butter (or marg) spread that takes this challah to the next level! Click here for my pumpkin challah recipe (it's the one in the cookbook!) - and don’t forget that Chanukah is coming up and
Rising! The Book of Challah is an amazing gift for any special woman on your list! May we all be present to and grateful for all the blessings in our lives, every single day. —Rochie Pinson
Although there are many opinions about how and if to celebrate the turkey day, (we are, after all, Jews,) it seems that the general consensus is that as long as it is celebrated in a way that is casual, and not as an official “Yom Tov” it is a lovely thing to do, and not a contradiction to Judaism in any way. However, please get your final opinion from your LOR, this is not a halachic or hashkafic ruling in any way!