Jews, The People of Thanksgiving

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jews, The People of Thanksgiving.”

This week was Thanksgiving (חג ההודיה), but for Jews we are already called, “The People of Thanksgiving. “We are named יהודים (Yehudim) after יהודה (Yehudah), the son of Isaac and Leah because Leah said (Genesis 29:35): “הפעם אודה את יהיה.” (“This time let me thank G-d”). Also as Jews, we are not just called the People of  Thanksgiving, but we are actively supposed to say 100 blessings a day thanking G-d, so in the true sense of the word, everyday is Thanksgiving Day for the Jewish people.


Jews are the People of Thanksgiving not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year. We are thankful for being the chosen people and for our redemption and return to the Promised Land of Israel; we are thankful for the life and opportunities that G-d has given to us; we are thankful in good times and G-d forbid, in the bad times; and we are thankful because, yes, ultimately everything from G-d is for the good.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Black Thursday For Shopaholics

So Black Friday Shopping extravaganza that used to happen the day after Thanksgiving has now turned into Black Thursday mega-shopping on Thanksgiving Thursday.

The huge Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida is open 10 AM to 1 AM!


The mall was packed with people and the deals were pretty fantastic.  


Under Armour was 50% off!


True Religion was buy 1 get 1 free!


Almost every store seemed to be 1/2 price off already reduced prices.


What I liked in this video I took here was the WOW! display around the entire entrance to this Century 21 apparel store.


Watch the whole thing…it is really cool what they did with this frontage real estate for this store. 


Great job on the marketing and very inviting!


So lots of compulsive shopping, but not so much turkey today. 😉


(Source video: Andy Blumenthal)

My Aching Back

So I pulled something in my back recently. 


Had the worst sciatica pain down my hip and leg–could hardly walk or sleep from it. 


I went to the Orthopedist and he game me some meds for the inflammation and sent me for an MRI. 


Also, I went a number of times for acupressure, which was truly awesome. 


Came back to the Orthopedist and he asks how I am. 


I said:

Feeling a lot better, but the MRI shows a herniated disc. 


He says:

Go home and have a Happy Thanksgiving–we only do surgery to treat symptoms!


So I am truly happy that alls well that ends well. 


Thank you Hashem! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Friendsgiving

So I learned a new holiday terms today. 


Of course, you know about Thanksgiving–when we celebrate with our family all the wonderful things in life that G-d has blessed us with. 


Well now there is “Friendsgiving.”


This typically occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and is enjoyed with friends (instead of family). 


We are still grateful, but we just are thankful with a different set of significant others in our lives. 


To me there is nothing like my family–as my father taught me:

Blood is thicker than water. 


But friends are important in our lives as well, and good and true friends are so hard to come by–so we should celebrate them and with them whenever possible too. 


Finally, I choose this flower, “Bird of Paradise” for this blog, because I love it and it is something wonderful from G-d that I am grateful for. 


Happy Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving to All!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Chocolate Turkey Delight

So this is the kind of dessert turkey that will sweeten your Thanksgiving dinner.


Gobs and gobs of white, milk, and dark chocolate.


And they actually shaped it all like a turkey.


Sort of cute, but also sort of sugary disgusting, no?


Generally, I’m not a huge fan of eating turkey either.


Maybe when they boil it in oil, and it’s cooked through and through, it actually comes out juicy and not so bad.


But give me a nice piece of beef, and I’ll be your pal forever!


A colleague who was a veterinarian and worked inspecting meat plants overseas told me some things about the cleanliness though that made my skin crawl.


“The cleanliness outside of the U.S. is WAY DIFFERENT than here!”–and not in a good way.


Even in places that do maintain clean facilities and healthy animals, the way that “they make the sausage” sounded so unappetizing.


It made me think of all those PETA and other commercials that show the chickens and other caged birds in those crowded and filthy (and diseased) conditions…even aside from the cruelty, it’s enough to make you cringe.


He said they mash the meat until it’s like just a pink paste that gets shot into the tubes for hot dogs and things like that.


“It looks disgusting!”


Also, they put parts of the animal in that are basically leftover meats from the head and other parts of the animal that did NOT sound desirable at all. 


I’m thinking to myself…FROM THE HEAD.


Uh, no more hot dogs for me, thank you.


I think that I’ll stick with a nice steak or burger or something KOSHER and palatable.


You can have your turkey and your sausage and eat it, but not me! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)