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A Jewish Ceremony for Celebrating Thanksgiving

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The Rabbinical Assembly does not view Thanksgiving, a secular American holiday, as having the status of a traditional Jewish holiday. However, most American rabbis see the freedoms that we have in America as something for which we should be thankful. The question, then, is "How should we as Jews show thanks?" Traditionally, Jews show thanks through Jewish rituals which are both spiritual and educational.

The following mini-service is based upon a work-in-progress by a group of Conservative rabbis. Eventually this mini-service is to be turned into an official pamphlet for the Rabbinical Assembly.
  • Psalm 100. Mizmor L'Todah. Siddur Sim Shalom (1985 version), p.60.
  • Prayer for Thanksgiving. This is a Thanksgiving prayer composed from verses in Psalms, Isaiah and Ben Sira. Siddur Sim Shalom (1985 version), p. 819.
  • America: Founded on Biblical Precepts. Siddur Sim Shalom (1985 version), p.821-823.
  • Sharing Time. Each person at the table states the things for which he/she is thankful.
  • Shulchan Aruch: The Thanksgiving meal.
  • Shir Hamaalot and Birkat Hamazon. Grace after meals.
While page numbers above are from Siddur Sim Shalom (1985 version), most of these prayers and readings can also be found in the Rabbinical Assembly's Weekday Prayer Book, edited by Gershon Hadas, and the Sabbath and Festival Prayer Book, edited by Morris Silverman.

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