10 JEWBELLISH LAWS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN THANKSGIVING FALLS OUT ON CHANUKAH:
1. Thanksgivukkah celebrates the victory of the few Maccabean forces over the native Indians, who were many, and the miracle of the peace pipe that they smoked for eight days. Therefore, Thanksgivukkah is an auspicious time to eat donuts with pumpkin filling, spin the football, and light eight turkeys on fire.
2. The Midrash relates that when the angels for thanksgiving and Hanukkah found out they were going to fall out on the same day of the calendar, they each complained to G-d. “That Yutz, he couldn’t celebrate the harvest BEFORE the ground went and froze solid?” Kvetched the Hanukkah angel. “You greasy Latke,” responded the angel of thanksgiving. “You have seven other crazy nights to celebrate. Why don’t you move back to December where you came from?” Unable to handle their bickering, G-d threw one angel into the Hebrew calendar and roundhouse kicked the other into the Gregorian, where they would be destined to meet once every 70,000 years. Therefore, one should commemorate the holiday by inviting their large extended family over for a long night of bickering and kvetching.
3. One should be careful to purchase all their Thanksgivukkah items with chocolate coins. If one mistakenly used actual money, he is obligated to place the value of the money spent on the host team of the local turkey bowl in a bet at a community casino.
4. One is obligated to purchase a large adult male turkey for every four adults seated at the Thanksgivukkah festive meal. A group of women are required to eat a female turkey. Groups of pregnant women such as a Lamaze class or birthing center roommates are required to eat one male and one female turkey for each child in their uterus. One who buys their turkey on sale is praised.
5. It is prohibited to schmear the turkey with any substances other than pure virgin olive oil. However, some opinions hold that it is permitted to combine the oil with alcohol to fulfill the commandment of eating a festive meal. As long as the Turkey is full of Greece, the Mitzvah Israel. The commandment of eating turkey is fulfilled upon consumption of an olive’s worth (Kezayis) of oil that has been marinated in the meat.
6. Some pious Jews like to combine their turkey together with chicken and duck to create a dish called “turducken,” but most authorities frown upon this tradition as it is not in the spirit of Thanksgivukkah. However, one may combine turkey with Kneidels (“traidels”) or turkey and bananas (“turbans”).
7. A turkey that is made out of clay may not be eaten at the festive Thanksgivukkah meal even though it is dry and ready. However, some authorities permit such a turkey to be used to play a round of tackle football with the winner collecting the pile of money or chocolate coins set in the middle of the field. One may stuff their turkey with jelly, custard, or anything fried in olive oil. For the laws regarding one who forgot to stuff their turkey, see the Halachot of Passoluther King Day (chapter 613).
8. The Hanukkah Menorah should be lit before the eating of the turkey, according to the school of Hillel. However, the school of Shammai holds that the turkey should be eaten first. It is for this reason that one is required to light the Menorah at the EXACT SAME MOMENT as one cuts into the turkey. One who lights the Menorah on top of their turkey is praised. Similarly, one who places eight turkeys on spits at the top of a giant Menorah is guaranteed a portion (of heavenly turkey) in the world to come.
9. Before eating of the turkey one is required to say the grace after meals, making sure to have in mind the mashed potatoes with gravy, potato Latkes and applesauce, pumpkin pie, and jelly donuts. Everyone around the table may hold hands while reciting the blessing, unless there is an unmarried woman present.
10. It is preferable for the turkey to be stuffed by a proctologist and carved by a certified Mohel. The knife must be sharp enough to draw blood if placed on the belly of an infant. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Laden would use a pair of toenail clippers to carve his turkey in order to fulfil the verse which states “a little at a time.” If no one knows how to carve the turkey, one may hint to a Thanksgivukkah Goy and he is permitted to cut it for you, provided he cuts a slice for himself.
Every community has their own traditions when it comes to the holiday of Thanksgivukkah.
- Canadian Jews cover the turkey while the Menorah is lit so as not to hurt the feelings of the candles.
- The Jews of Virginia have a tradition to eat the turkey next to a pile of Dreidels as a sign of the Maccabean victory.
- Jews in New York City hold a massive parade every Thanksgivukkah full of giant balloons representing their various communities. They do not drink more than a olive’s worth at a time.
- Quebec Jews eat tiny stuffed ducklings and light Menorahs in their basements so as not to appear ostentatious.
- Many ‘pious’ Jews make the Thanksgivukkah Pilgrimage to Turkey. For it is stated that “…you [who'm] light thy Menorah [and eat oily stuff] in Turkey… fulfill the Mitzvah [of Thanksgivukkah] to the fullest; You are rewarded with: [if you find thyself in hell,] you will be pulled up by your love handles directly to heaven…” (Other opinions state that eating Turkey in Israel also constitutes “fulfilling the Mitzvah… to the fullest.”)
- Iranian Jews stuff their turkeys with enriched plutonium, and then hide it from all their guests.
Written by Zvi Hershcovich with Mendy Pellin
Drawing: Stephen E Hughes
Inspired by: Frum Satire