Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Bird of Thanks

On Thanksgiving day, it is customary in the United States to eat a turkey dinner. The Hebrew word for turkey is “tar'negol hodu,” literally, an “Indian Rooster.” It came by this name because turkeys are indigenous to North America, which the first explorers thought was actually part of India. The country of India is called Hodu in Hebrew, most commonly recognized from the opening lines of Megillat Esther (Book of Esther, Purim), when King Achashverosh is depicted as ruling a kingdom that stretched “me’hodu v’ad kush” from India to Ethiopia. 

“So what?” you might ask. Actually, this really might be one of life’s weird coincidences, since there is another way to translate tar'negol hodu. Using the other meaning of the word hodu--thanks, a turkey in Hebrew actually means a “rooster of thanks.”

The phrase from Tehillim (Psalms) 118, Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov, is generally translated as, “Give thanks to God because He is good.” However, the phrase may also be translated as, “Give thanks to God because it is good.” Giving thanks to God is good for us!

Almost every child is trained by his/her parents to say, “Thank You” when given something. But, when one is constantly receiving, it is easy to let those manners slide. Human beings are constantly receiving, or to put it another way, we are all totally dependent upon the Divine forces of nature (to make bread you need wheat, wheat you need rain, etc.). From the first moments of life, we are all takers - and that is okay. That is what was intended. What is not, okay, however, is ingratitude. 

Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov! Every act of thanking God has a positive effect on a person! So go ahead and carve that tar'negol hodu, but don't forget to take a moment to thank God for the bounty before you.

This Treat was last posted on November 25, 2010. 

Copyright © 2014 NJOP. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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I am deeply concerned about the trends in this country, to move away from the Bible in favor of the scientific view; that we all live in a universe, which has been brought about completely without reason, planning or intelligent thought.

Recent poll results published by HuffPost indicate that only 37% of Americans believe that God created human beings in their present form , and sadly this number is diminishing annually.

I find this quite distressing in view if the fact that the Theory of Evolution has never been proven, and yet just recently, the Pope himself made statements, which would indicate that he intends to move the Catholic church in the direction of this flawed theory.

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