A Hareidi vs. Modern Orthodox Debate about Celebrating Thanksgiving
Although this conversation took place between two Americans, both attended yeshivot in Canada! :-)
"Avraham" is a Hareidi from Boro Park
"Yitzchak' is Modern Orthodox from "NewTown"
Avraham: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
Yitzchak: Yes, we do
A: How do you do it? What's the seder?
Y: Well we usually serve Turkey and all the fixings. I make sure to wash in order to bench and that enables me to recite "Nodeh lecha"
A: That's it?
Y.: Some spell out what they're thankful for. I don't do that out loud, just in my heart. Also sometimes I'll have wine etc. and make a bit of a Simchah out of it.
I've hear that some make their Thanksgiving meal their Friday Night Shabbat meal.
A: I see. In Boro Park we see this as Goyish. And if it's Goyish, it's treif.
Y We Moderns see this as non-sectarian although it is based upon our Torah's Hag Ha'Assif. We think it's meaningful to express our gratitude once a year and we embrace it
A: I see. I never knew from this in Boro Park - though I have heard that some rabbonim allow it.
Y: Understood. We Moderns don't necessarily think it's required, just a nice thing to do
And that pretty much sums up a the gap [chasm?] Between a Hareidi approach to society and a Modern O approach. And IMHO - it's more about sociology than about Halachah