Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Sukkot

While doing some research on the Mayflower Compact for my boys to utilize with our study, I got the idea for this blog. My search was geared towards finding some type of translation of the document which the boys could understand better. Through out my search I came across web sites dedicated to the pilgrims, Mayflower and Thanksgiving. It was during the reading of one article where this blog was born. The article was in the Washington Post written by Welton Gaddy on November 22, 2006 entitled “On Faith: Remembering the Mayflower Compact.” The article lacked in that it seemed to deny the fact that Thanksgiving was Biblically based. There are other web sites which also discuss the first thanksgiving and the fact that it was a time for the pilgrims to give thanks to the Lord. What some of them lack however is the ties between the Jewish celebration known as the Sukkot and the first Thanksgiving.

Let’s go back to the Old Testament and the book of Leviticus. It is here one will find God giving the command for various feasts to be held. While they are not named specifically in the Bible the Jewish people have names for them. If you go to Leviticus chapter 23 you will find where God discusses the appointed feasts. In order to read about the Sukkot one needs to advance in the same chapter to verse 39 and begin reading. It is important to read the article “Thanksgiving may originate in the Jewish holiday Sukkot,” and compare that to Leviticus. Sukkot also celebrated in the fall is a time when the Jewish and some Christians celebrate everything God has done for them and has given them. Unfortunately I missed a day of celebrating with friends due to illness, but it is a week long celebration. This year the Sukkot was celebrated from October 2nd-the 9th. There are many individuals who feel that these celebrations do not pertain to them as Christians. However if you read the chapter these are direct commandments from God. Others argue that the Old Testament is not meant for Christians, this also is false, both the New Testament and Old Testament interact and are meant for both the Jews and Gentiles alike.

This would be a great subject for 7th-12th grade students to dig deeper into. I encourage you to search on your own to learn more about how these two celebrations are really one. I utilized the search words Sukkot and the first Thanksgiving for my search.

Thanksgiving may originate in the Jewish holiday Sukkot

Sukkot Resources
Here you can find links for teaching about the Sukkot to all ages. Click on the current events and holiday link for Thanksgiving and more.

Thanksgiving:The American Sukkot?
This site is a great place for older children and you to read about the intertwining of these two celebrations.

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