What the American Harvest Festival Shares with Its Jewish Predecessor https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/religion-holidays/2020/11/what-the-american-harvest-festival-shares-with-its-jewish-predecessor/

November 27, 2020 | Meir Soloveichik
About the author: Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel and the director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. His website, containing all of his media appearances, podcasts, and writing, can be found at meirsoloveichik.com.

Although the origins of Thanksgiving lie in the Pilgrims’ celebrations at Plymouth Colony, no one did more to have it transformed into an official national holiday than Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), whose many accomplishments include the composition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” She deliberately saw as inspiration for Thanksgiving the biblical harvest festivals, a fact that leads Meir Soloveichik to contrast the Jewish Sukkot with its American counterpart. (Video, 30 mins. The sermon begins at the 27-minute mark.)

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