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The Heroism of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving almost always falls in the Hebrew month of Kisleiv, the month in which Jews observe the Festival of Chanukah. That’s not all they have in common.

Yonason Goldson

Originally published in 2002 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Baltimore Sun.

Will Rogers couldn’t have said it better: No nation has ever had more, yet no nation has ever had less. And it’s easy to understand why the two go together.

The Talmud observes that the moment a person acquires $100, he immediately wants $200. The more we have, the more we want. And the more we believe in our own entitlement, the more likely we are to forget both our humble origins and our obligations to others.

The-First-Thanksgiving-DinnerIt’s somewhat heartening, therefore, that Thanksgiving has retained so prominent a place in American culture, even if most of us rarely give a passing thought to the Puritan ideals that gave birth to the first Thanksgiving.

Who were the Pilgrims? The settlers who stepped off the Mayflower in 1620 were not adventurers or opportunists. They were devout Protestants seeking…

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