What if the Pilgrims were actually Old World Jews who arrived via the Mayflower on that fateful day in the 1600’s? It could have easily been Jewish Pilgrims who were fleeing persecution that were greeted by the Natives on the shore of Plymouth Rock.
In the spirit of having a little fun with this once in a lifetime Thanksgivukah event, here are 8 “What if” scenarios that could’ve changed the way we look at Thanksgiving if the Pilgrims were indeed Jewish.
1.“HO,” the two letter greeting the natives uttered when first greeting the Pilgrims, was in response to the Pilgrims who said “OY,” upon first seeing the natives walking towards them?
2. The traditional Sweet Potato Pie was really a Potato Kugel that the Pilgrims shared with the Natives, who made this version because only the orange sweet potatoes were available, and not the plain white potatoes?
3. Roasted Stuffed Turkey was the main attraction, because the more popular wild boar (ham) was not Kosher for the Pilgrim, and was refused?
4. The original Thursday night feast was 3 days long because of cultural misunderstanding? The Natives saw the Pilgrims preparing and having other large festive meals Friday night and Saturday. Not wanting to insult the Pilgrims and seem rude by not continuing the celebration, they joined in on their Sabbath meals.
5. The Cranberry is the perfect relish to go along with our Turkey only because of a language barrier? The Jewish Pilgrims asked the Natives for a side of Chrain (a must have beet & horseradish based condiment in every Jewish European household, pronounced KR-ain) to eat with their turkey. After a little back and forth, the Natives immediately brought them the now famous cranberry relish we all love to eat.
6. The ‘In the Turkey or Out the Turkey’ stuffing debate originated as having kishke in the chulent or out of the chulent?
7. The Pilgrims introduced beer to the Natives? After the Natives generously shared a shot of their own special homemade alcoholic brew, the Pilgrims fondly dubbed it “schnapps” for its potency.
8. Instead of kvetching about the messy house and in-laws, Thanksgivukah is spent gathering around good food and appreciating the little things in life – just like those Pilgrims did during that first meal – together with friends and family and some incredibly tasty dishes?