Jewish Ideas in Plymouth Colony

The faith of America’s Pilgrim ancestors was deepened by Jewish texts, while their acts of gratitude were conscious reenactments of the Jewish past.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, by Jennie A. Brownscombe. Wikimedia.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, by Jennie A. Brownscombe. Wikimedia.

Observation
Nov. 25 2020
About the author

Daniel Slate is a graduate student at Stanford University pursuing a JD/PhD joint degree, focusing on the historical influence and continuing relevance of the Hebrew Bible’s ideas on law, society, and politics.


This year we mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing on the shores of Massachusetts. There is of course much that Americans can learn from the voyage of the Mayflower and its passengers. But since tomorrow is America’s day of thanksgiving, I want to attempt to inhabit the minds of America’s Pilgrim ancestors, whose Christian faith was deepened by Jewish texts and whose acts of gratitude were conscious reenactments of the Jewish past.

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More about: American Jewish History, History & Ideas, Thanksgiving