> Does anyone have any good ideas regarding Thanksgiving
> that could be uses in a 9th or 7th grade class?
Some reading material for the holiday.
Excerpts from Tractate Thanksgiving
by Rick Dinitz
Torah Source: Hodu L'Adonai ki tov. [Eating] turkey for [the sake of]
Adonai is good. Psalms
Perek Heh Mishnah Aleph
Hodu l'Adonai ki tov - keitzad?
[Waving] turkey to Adonai [during Hallel]-- how is it done?
They take the arba minim (four kinds) together -- turkey, cranberry, corn
and squash -- and wave them east,
south, west, north, up and down.
Rabbi Yose says: When [does this apply]?
When everyone in the congregation has a good sense of humor.
Rabbi Tarfon says: When everyone in the congregation is a good juggler.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Bet
How much do they wave (what is the minimum)?
Beit Shammai say: Turkey: all of it;
cranberry; one kav;
corn: one stalk;
squash: one vine.
Bet Hillel say: Turkey: one limb;
cranberry: one berry;
corn: one kernel;
squash: one squash.
Rabbi Akiva says: let him wave whatever he has.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Gimel
They take them together -- keitzad (how is it done)?
Beit Hillel says: They place them in a basket and wave the basket.
Bet Shanimai says: They stuff the three inside the turkey and wave the
turkey. Rabbi Yehoshua says:
they stuff all four inside a pita, and wave the pita.
Rabbi Akiva says. They eat all four, and wave their bodies.
Rabbi Tarfon says: It is not up you to finish the eating, but neither are
you free to eat nothing -- after all, a person has to eat.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Dalet
When do they wave?
Rabbi Shimon says: Take a lulav (at the same time as when we would wave a
lulav on Sukkot).
Rabbi Yose Ha Galili says: Through all of Hallel Hagadol -on each "Ki
l'olam chasdo" (they wave).
Rabbi Akiva says: If so, then how would they digest what they have eaten?
(That is, waving the body so many times in rapid sequence after eating a
heavy meal is bound to cause trouble.)
They said to him: They do not eat until after the earliest time for Minchah
(which is after Hallel).
Rabbi Yehoshua says: In the Galil I saw that when they sing "Noten lechem
l'chol basar" (God gives bread for all flesh)
they eat the sandwich of turkey in pita.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Heh Heh Heh
Until when do they wave? Chamishi. [(only on) Thursday;
alternatively, chamesh, for five days].
Shammai says: Me-Hodu ad Kush. (That is, they continue waving until Purim.)
Rabbi Eliezer says: When (does this apply)?
Only to the king. Shene'emar (as it is said): Melech me-Hodu ad Kush.
Everyone else waves only for one day, but all eat leftover turkey until it
Rabbi Shimon says: L'olam [forever] (that is, they never stop waving).
Shene'miar: Hodu l'Adonai ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo.
But the sages say: If he waves it chutz lizmano (beyond the appointed time)
What kind of squash?
pasul le'echol (it is unfit to eat).
Perek Zayin, Mishnah Gimel
Rabbi says: Zucchini.
Rabban Gamliel says: En zaken b'Cheshvan (nobody (harvests zucchini in (the
month of) Cheshvan).
The sages say: Don't read "zucchini" -- but rather "zaken" (an old squash).
Perek Zayin, Mishnah Dalet
Cranberry relish and cranberry sauce, kasher (it is fit for waving). But
cranberry juice, cranberry jelly,
or cranberry cobbler, pasul (is not fit)
Corn soup, popcorn, and caramel corn, kasher. But cornbread is pasul,
because of the flour.
Corndogs are pasul, because of the dog.
Presumably this kind of dog lacks either fins or scales.
Resh Lakish says, With pumpkin pie, kasher.
His son says: My mother would make pareve pumpkin pie for the waving.
Perek Yod, Mishnah Vav
Rabban Gamliel says: Squash I understand, but what are turkey, cranberry,
They said to him: Corn-I'm all ears.
Cranberry-Don't get bogged down in such details.
Turkey-(this refers to an) am haaretz (boor)
He (Rabban Gamliel) said to them: Whoever cannot explain these three things
has not fulfilled their obligation.
But the sages say: The Torah is a Torah for all times and all lands (that
is, when God will reveal these foods to us,
we will know the halachah for what to do with them).