There are many prayers of Thanksgiving in Judaism, and one of the best known is the Birkat Ha-Mazon, or Grace After Meals. You can read up on it here or for a more detailed description, go here.

If you’re feeling especially thankful, you can also:

  • Listen to the Grace After Meals here
  • Buy a puzzle to assemble with the Grace After Meals in Hebrew

Here is some food for thought: The fact that we Jews who believe in Jesus see a connection between the biblical harvest festival known as Sukkot and the American celebration of Thanksgiving does not mean that our Jewish family and friends who do not know Jesus see it that way. Jewish people tend to see Thanksgiving as a secular holiday.

In fact, many Jewish people feel they may celebrate Thanksgiving because (and only because) rabbis have ruled that it is a secular holiday. Were they to see it as a religious holiday, and not a specifically Jewish holiday, they would not celebrate.

This does not make the Sukkot-Thanksgiving connection any less meaningful to Christians who are interested in the Jewish roots of their faith, and the Jewish influence on certain Christian practices. We have the joy of thanking God in the spirit of the Jewish Bible, and we also have the joy of thanking God for Jesus, the Messiah, who was predicted in that same Bible. It is just helpful to know that any holiday celebration in which the name of Jesus is invoked would be seen by most Jewish people either as a holiday that excludes them, or as a holiday that they should ignore out of loyalty to their own religion.

For insight into perspectives on Thanksgiving from Jews who do not share our faith in Jesus, see Bloghead: Thanksgiving and the Jews and myjewishlearning.com