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November 25th, 2013
12:47 PM ET

Eight ways to celebrate Thanksgivukkah

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Break out the menurkeys and sweet potato latkes, people, it's time to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

A calendrical quirk brings the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together this Thursday for the first time since 1888. Scientists say the confluence won't occur again for another 70,000 years, give or take a millennium.

Dana Gitell, a 37-year-old marketing manager for a Jewish nonprofit in Massachusetts, is the mind behind the mashup "Thanksgivukkah."

(If you think that's a mouthful, her other ideas were "Thanksgiving-ukkah" and "Hanukkahgiving," both of which caused our spellchecker to sputter and die.)

But with the right portmanteau in place, the Thanksgivukkah idea caught fire faster than a deep-fried turkey.

Gitell is gathering an online album of Thanksgivukkah celebrations, and says she's received submissions from places like South Dakota and Anchorage, Alaska - outposts not typically known for having vibrant Jewish communities.

Even rabbis from ultra-Orthodox sects like Chabad have jumped on board the Thanksgivukkah bandwagon.

"At first I didn't know how rabbis would respond to something as irreverent as a mashup," Gittel says, "but they almost uniformly embraced it. It's completely kosher."

We don't know if the rabbis approve of everything on our list, because people are sorta going nuts. Must be that once-in-an-eon thing. But without further ado (and with a nod toward Adam Sandler's "Eight Crazy Nights"), here are eight ways to celebrate Thanksgivukkah.

1. Light a menurkey

Leave it to a fourth-grader to create the ultimate Thanksgivukkah icon.

Asher Weintraub came up with the idea during a family trip to Florida last year. The little genius from New York City thought it'd be really cool to have a menorah, the nine-branched candelabrum used to mark Hanukkah, in the shape of a turkey.

Weintraub created a Kickstarter account, raised $50,000, made a 3-D prototype and heroically fended off his father's attempt to rename the thing a "menorkey." Nice job, kiddo.

The father in question, Anthony Weintraub, says he's sold between 6,000 and 7,000 menurkeys, including a few to famous finance experts and owners of National Football League teams.

"I'm beginning to think my life as a menorah salesman isn't over," says Anthony Weintraub.

2. Make a nice Turbrisket 

Let's face it, Thanksgiving was getting pretty gonzo even before meeting Hanukkah. I mean, turducken? But Thanksgivukkah has taken meal mashups to a new level.

You've got your Turbrisket (turkey filled with brisket), your deep-fried turkey, your sweet potato latkes, your cranberry-stuffed knishes, your pumpkin kugel, your pecan pie rugelach - I could go on, but I'll get fat just by typing the rest of the list.

Marlene Eldemire of Cincinnati says her family wanted to make the huge mashup menu Buzzfeed posted earlier this month.

"I told them they can go ahead and make it," Eldemire says with a laugh. "There's no way."

So her family is settling for a few Hanukkah standbys like brisket that'll sit next to the turkey and sweet potatoes this Thursday.

3. Deck the halls for the Challahday

This is another spot where people are getting really creative, says Kali Brodsky, editor of JewishBoston.com.

They're making pumpkin menorahs, Thanksgivukkah coloring books for kids, and table settings that mix and match Hanukkah and Thanksgiving themes.

Rabbi Rachel Silverman of Boston says she's decorating her table with Thanksgiving symbols (a cornucopia, pumpkins, harvest bouquet) and Hanukkah items (a menorah, gold-colored coins called "gelt").

If you're feeling lazy, Brodsky says, you can just print out the Thanksgivukkah place cards JewishBoston has created and set a place for Bubbe.

4. Watch a really big dreidel spin down the streets of New York 

To honor the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, Macy's has created a 25-foot-tall, 21-foot-wide dreidel for its iconic parade.

The "balloonicle" (part balloon, part vehicle) will spin just like a real dreidel, and it's the first time the parade has included a Jewish symbol, according to Macy's.

"Inclusion of the dreidel balloonicle is indicative of both a nod to the rare occasion in which Hanukkah's first day falls on Thanksgiving and of the dreidel's inherent entertainment value," says Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras.

5. Party like it's 165 BC (and 1621 CE) 

Hanukkah, for those who need a refresher course, marks the miracle of the successful defense of the Jewish temple by the Maccabees, an army of Jewish rebels, against the Goliath-like Syrian-Greek army in 165 BC.

One day's supply of oil somehow lit the temple's menorah for eight days, and the rest is history.

The Jewish event and the Pilgrims' arrival in America are both celebrations of religious freedom, says Sherry Kuiper.

At Kuiper's synagogue, Temple Israel in Columbus, Georgia, the kids led a service in which they dressed up like the Maccabees and Pilgrims, traveled in a make-believe time machine, and celebrated Thanksgivukkah together.

The parallel isn't perfect, Kuiper acknowledges. After all, the Native Americans certainly don't celebrate Thanksgiving as the birth of their religious freedom.

But Thanksgivukkah offers a reminder that the more things change, the more some things - like the human need to express gratitude - stay the same, Kuiper said.

6. Kvetch about Thanksgivukkah 

Okay, this one isn't exactly about celebrating.

But it must be acknowledged, some folks just aren't into the Thanksgivukkah spirit.

Thanksgiving was one of the few holidays on which interfaith families didn't have to explain to the kids "why mom believes this and dad believes that," argues Allison Benedikt in a recent Slate column.

"I cannot tell you what a relief it is to have this one major holiday—the best one!—that isn’t in some part about what I am and my husband is not (Jewish), or what he is and I’m not (Christmas-celebrating)," Benedikt says.

(And for just the record, sweet and sour braised brisket with cranberry sauce is an abomination, she says.)

Jennie Rivlin Roberts, whose Judaica store, Modern Tribe, is selling Thanksgivukkah gear like hotcakes, says she understands some of the kvetching.

But a mashup of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah is so much better than the usual "December dilemma," the overlap of the eight-day Jewish holiday and the cultural behemoth know as Christmas, Roberts says.

"With Thanksgivukkah, you're not really mixing two religions, so you can really go for it. People may say it's silly, and yeah, some of it is, but it's also full of fun and joy."

7. Watch a rap battle between a turkey and a dreidel

Julie Benko was stuck on the subway in New York City for two hours, and she was bored. So, she did what any sane person would do - she wrote a song about Thanksgivukkah.

OK, Benko is not your average straphanger. She's something of a Broadway belle, having just returned from playing Cosette on a national tour of "Les Miserables." But that doesn't mean it's any easier to find a rhyme for "Thanksgivukkah."

Still, Benko's klezmer-inspired tune has lots of YouTube competition.

There's the rap battle between a turkey and a dreidel sponsored by Manischewitz. (Yes, they rock it old shul.)

There's the slickly produced "Oils: A Thanksgivukkah Miracle."

And there's this cute little number from the the Kehillah Schechter Academy in Norwood, Massachusetts, called "The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah."

8. Watch a scary movie about stereotypes

After all the candle-lighting and the decorating and eating and the kvetching and the singing, let's face it, you're probably going to be pretty tired.

So why not plop down on the couch to watch the trailer for a Thanksgivukkah-themed horror movie?

"Thanksgivukkah: The Movie" is about a nice gentile family who find their Thanksgiving celebration invaded by a family of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Jokes about religious stereotypes ensue.

We don't know if the trailer, which is made by Jewish filmmakers, is completely kosher, but we guess there's enough time for the rabbis to sort it out in time for the next Thanksgivukkah.

So, that's it. We"ll see you next Thanksgivukkah, in 70,000 years or so.  In the meantime, Gobble tov, my friends.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Food • Judaism • Kosher • Traditions • Trends

soundoff (527 Responses)
  1. Ron

    I thank God that I know Who to thank. The pobre atheist has no one to thank. lol

    November 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Vic

    I take no pleasure whatsoever in bringing up any negative talk or mention of sad history. In the meantime, I find it exclusive and unfair when people selectively mention certain parts of history and ignore others.

    It is one of the darkest crimes in history what happened to Native Americans, as people on this blog have already brought up. Having said that, It is worth mentioning that the Spanish Empire was the first to kill and enslave Native Americans by the millions in the Americas, and caused many more millions to die by diseases, yet, nobody brings it up when talking about the very same victims, Native Americans. The Spanish Empire set a precedent in invading and killing Native Americans for all the next conquerors to come.

    Let's all pray this Thanksgiving for peace and reconciliation to all people, and a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving come Thursday.

    November 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  3. JW

    The Epic of Gilgamesh teaches us all something... Is that not only the Persians but other native people worldwide have stories that are similar to the Deluge during Noah's times.. On the Epic of Gilmesh it says that this King was a Demi god, the bibles says that the angels that rebeled against God, made for themselves human body's and that they had children with their human wife's, originating the Nephilim. They where powerful and violent and created caos on earth. It interesting to know as well that the Hindhu god Visnhu translated to Persian language, means "the man Noah"..

    Could all of this be a coincidence?

    November 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • JW

      *the Nephilim were sons of fallen angels and humans, therefore Demi gods

      November 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • igaftr

      co-incidence? Not hardly. Considering the fact that cultures intermingle and so do the stories...cause and effect...not coincidence.

      November 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Jerry

      As it predates the OT, I'd say that the OT borrows from the EoG.

      November 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Angela

      The Epic of Garglemesh taught me the importance of using oral antiseptic.

      November 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • GMAB

      JW,
      " other native people worldwide have stories that are similar to the Deluge during Noah's times."

      There have been devastating local and even regional floods since time immemorial... and there still are.

      "During Noah's times"? - Really? When precisely was that?

      There is no evidence of a world-wide flood coinciding with human habitation ... ever.

      As far as the fantasy half-human/half-god (or other 'spirit'); those tales are from the fertile human imagination, like fire-breathing dragons, centaurs, boogeymen and numerous other flights of fancy, without a scintilla of evidence of fact.

      November 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  4. mzh

    Happy holidays guys.... may this holidays bring joy and properous to every single one of us... aamine

    November 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    Those who are indigenous to this land we call “The United States of America” have been long misrepresented and pushed out of American history textbooks in favor of glorifying those who now rule this nation and represent the dominant culture.

    What kind of democracy are we when education institutions and teachers refuse to mention the fact that some 30 to 60 million Natives were killed at the hands of European invasion and colonialism? What is the point of having a “free market of ideas” when selective and biased history is being taught to our children?

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Don

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvYIjFtPQEk&w=640&h=390]

      November 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Don, this is macabre and disgusting. You make me sick.

        November 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  6. Don

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJEPg7fKOtc&w=640&h=390]

    November 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I don't think this is SFW!

      November 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    Columbus and those like him are heroes to the capitalists. They understand that the cruelty and exploitation that marked the colonization of the Americas benefited them. The capitalists' unyielding search for profits and super-profits leaves them neither conscience nor morality.

    Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the end for the Native Americans who defended and ultimately lost their land and dignity over the course of centuries. This combined with slavery is what made the USA possible. Not a legacy to be celebrated.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    November 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Don

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1WmzRxBGFY&w=640&h=390]

      November 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        So Don....are you saying we should be grateful for the Native American genocide?

        November 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Don

          Huh?

          Do you know what Thanksgiving represents?

          Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l'Action de grâce in Canadian French) is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

          You are free to remain bitter and make your own conclusions and assumptions and remain ungrateful for what you have and where you came from.

          The rest of us will be celebrating this holiday alongside our Native American friends and family and be thankful to God.

          November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Don, you are incorrect.

          November 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  8. Apple Bush

    Fun Thanksgiving Facts

    Following the first Thanksgiving, genocide ensued.

    The Genocide was not just a huge slaughtering of Native Americans; it was a disease of the Europeans that killed the Native Americans. Therefore, it is argued that this genocide wasn’t really a typical "genocide". It’s said to be a mass murder because of the diseases that came over. Since these massive killings lasted for many centuries, they were a continuous undifferentiated genocide.

    The Europeans killed the Indians for land in North America as they sought to expand their territory. The war between the Europeans and Native Americans lasted many years, on and off from the 1600's through the early 1900's. The feud between the Native Americans and colonists was eventually won by the colonists.

    75-80% were killed by the strategic diseases. The French and Spanish did this on purpose to give the Indians a hard time.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    November 26, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  9. Feast of Dedication

    Baruch atah ADONAI, Eloheynu Melech ha-olam. a-sher kid-shah-noo, b’mitz-vatov, vitzee-vah-noo. L’had-leek ner shel Chanukah.

    Blessed are You, Lord our God. You have sanctified us by your Commandments and blessed us to kindle the lights of Chanukah.”

    Amen.

    November 26, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • NT

      Jesus, Himself was in the temple for the Feast of Dedication.

      November 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  10. Rachel

    Another great tip is to make your latkes from sweet potatoes to satisfy both holidays' traditions. Check out more here: http://pinkpangea.com/2013/11/7-tips-for-surviving-thanksgivukkah-in-israel/

    November 26, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Sounds good. It will be great to sit down again with the Native Americans and......oh oops. We killed them all.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • ME II

        I understand your point but, many Native Americans alive today would disagree with the "all".

        November 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Oh well golly let me rephrase that. The 100 million men, women and children we killed and/or stole their land are most likely not celebrating their fate (living decedents). A few were matriculated into white society while most were exiled to dusty worthless reservations.

          November 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Daniel Burke gives us eight ways to celebrate Thanksgivukkah. The Buddha gave us the Eight Fold Path:

    I. The Way to the End of Suffering
    II. Right View
    III. Right Intentions
    IV. Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood
    V. Right Effort
    VI. Right Mindfulness
    VII. Right Concentration
    VIII. The Development of Wisdom

    Let's begin with I. The Way to the End of Suffering:
    Particularly in the time of Thanksgiving, you must remember to never eat anything bigger than your head.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Apple Bush

      II. Right View

      The best part about Thanksgiving is the leftovers.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      III. Right Intentions

      Take the stairs today, that'll cancel out eating my body weight in food this weekend.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Maddy

      V. Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood

      Try not to listen to crazy drunk Uncle Sal talk about his "business" too much for fear of a federal RICO subpoena.

      November 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  12. Agnostickids

    I would like to point out, not as a racist, but as an everyday observer, that the entire worldwide Jewish population is 7 million. The Hindu population is over 1 billion, not to mention the Muslim and Christian. LIke the tiny mormon population (loud, but still small) of 11 million (not sure if they are counting the ones they baptize AFTER they die) we're listening to the LOUD minority.

    I'm intrigued with the Jewish culture, but sometimes I get tired of hearing "Jewish" before the comment or definition. What I'm trying to say is WHY do Jews need to tell everyone they are Jewish? Why is everything wrapped around their culture in a way that makes them sound superior?

    Just saying...

    November 26, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • lol??

      It's just not-a-jew traditions.

      1Cr 15:50
      Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

      November 26, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  13. Apple Bush

    @JW

    The Divine is diminished each time science discovers and proves something new. In time there simply won't be room for a God and believers will have to change their way of thinking about the universe.

    November 26, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • lol??

      Tripping??
      wiki on Shulgin,
      "........................... ... I understood that our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability."................"

      November 26, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Enjoy your meal. Enjoy your family and friends. Reach out to the less fortunate.

        Don’t forget however, that ignoring the truth won’t make it go away. Thanksgiving celebrates step one in what would come to be Native American genocide.

        This country was founded by killing and stealing the land of the Native American people.

        Thanksgiving should serve as a reminder of the American Indian Holocaust that killed 100 million men, women and children.

        A process that took as much as 200 years to complete. That is a lot of hate.

        November 26, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Akirem

          You keep condemning, but offer no solution! You are a broken record. Instead of using copy/paste to splatter these boards with the same sentence, tell us what you think we should do about it!

          November 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  14. Cran-Apple sauce

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOk3ZevV8gs&w=640&h=390]

    November 26, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  15. JW

    The bible is a book of practical wisdom,

    Consider Jesus’ speech called the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew chapters 5 to 7. In this masterpiece of teaching, Jesus spoke on a number of topics, including the way to find true happiness, how to settle disputes, how to pray, and how to have the proper view of material things. Jesus’ words are just as powerful and practical today as they were when he spoke them.

    Some Bible principles deal with family life, work habits, and relationships with others. The Bible’s principles apply to all people, and its counsel is always beneficial. The wisdom found in the Bible is summarized by God’s words through the prophet Isaiah: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.”—Isaiah 48:17.

    November 26, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • igaftr

      Most of the sermon on the mount was taught by Buddha 400 years earlier...why doesn't Jesus give proper credit for Buddhas teachings which seemed to be the cornerstone of what Jesus was re-teaching?

      November 26, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • JW

        In the Middle East no one knew Buddha... On Matt 6:9 Jesus taught to pray for 'gods kingdom to come and do his will on earth' ... Buddha never taught that!

        November 26, 2013 at 9:28 am |
        • igaftr

          False.
          There was trade back and forth throughout the entire area. The Buddha even tells of meeting greek traders and philosophers.
          Try again.
          The teachings of the Buddha ABSOLUTELY were known to the middle east, Greece and Rome.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • JW

          First century Christians were not interested in human philiosophy...

          November 26, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • myweightinwords

          A little research proves you wrong. There was a fair amount of trade between the middle east and the far east. Archaeological evidence shows influence from eastern religions and eastern culture in the middle east.

          As someone already said above, the sermon on the Mount is a rehashing of some of Buddha's teaching.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • myweightinwords

          JW, First century Christians were not interested in human philiosophy...

          And you would know this....how exactly?

          November 26, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • JW

          Myweigh- Coloss 2:8: " Look to it that there be not somebody who carries you off by philosophy and empty deceit along the line of human tradition, of the world’s elements and not of Christ"

          November 26, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW
          In other words, "I reject reality and substi/tute my own."
          So, is Gilgamesh historically accurate? Why is it any less or more reliable than the Bible?

          November 26, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • myweightinwords

          JW, at best that tells us what the author of one relatively short book of the bible thought about philosophy, not what the population as a whole thought.

          November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am |
        • Madtown

          In the Middle East no one knew Buddha...
          ----
          I'm not sure of the accuracy of this statement, but the greater point it brings up is interesting and is the reason no single religion can claim authority as "ultimate truth". Why? Because there are always going to be people who've never heard of it! In the case of christianity, or at least the teachings of Jesus at the time, no one outside of the Middle East knew of him! What about the people living in North and South America? He wasn't to be their savior also? According to christians, he was. Something given by God, and "required" of all human beings for salvation, would need to be provided by God to all human beings.

          November 26, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • JW

          Doc- historically it might be accurate... What does it say about God? For example the Hindus believed that elephants, turtles, etc were holding earth and preventing it from falling... Because Hinduism is an old religion, does that mean that the theory was right?
          The bible was saying that the 'earth was suspended over nothing? Which book proved to be right ?

          November 26, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • JW

          My weigh- only the true Christians thought that way of course... In the other hand the Catholic Church adopted human philosophy in to their teachings... Like Hell, and life after death!

          November 26, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          Buddha taught about helping neighbors, community over self, not judging others, judging self and working on the self, and treating others as you would be treated. He did that before your man-god over 400 years earlier. The words of Jesus for the most part are paraphraised words of Buddha.

          There is a current theory, which has a great deal to back it up, that the philosophies of Buddha and others like him started to influence the middle east. In response, the New Testament was written incorporating much of the new philosophies, but altered to include a god. You can see the Buddha's words all over your Jesus character.

          November 26, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The Epic says that Gilgamesh, like Jesus, was a demi-god.
          He supposedly ruled his Kingdom for 125 years and took a quick trip to the Underworld.
          If the Bible is literally true and scientifically accurate, why didn't God mislead His people about orbital rotation?
          The Good Book says that the Earth is immovable and inert.
          "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
          – Psalm 104:5
          "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved."
          Psalm 93:1
          "Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Psalm 96:10
          "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises." Ecclesiastes 1:5

          November 26, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • myweightinwords

          My weigh- only the true Christians thought that way of course...

          And who judges who is and isn't a "true Christian"? In fact, how can you be certain anyone OTHER than Paul felt this way? Clearly eastern thought found its way into Christianity. It's there in nearly everything Jesus taught.

          Paul was the one who began to turn what Jesus taught from a philosophy into a religion.

          In the other hand the Catholic Church adopted human philosophy in to their teachings... Like Hell, and life after death!

          There was no Catholic church yet when eastern philosophy found its way into what would be called the bible. It started with that fella, Jesus.

          November 26, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • fred

          Doc
          If you consider the earliest written work related to the Epic of Gildamesh was by Sîn-lēqi-unninni in 1,300 BC -1,000 BC containing the flood story what makes you think this was the origin of the flood story? Consider Genesis was written in 1,400 BC by Moses he could have been the source for the story as well as oral tradition over time.

          If the Epic was an adaptation from the Oral traditions passed down to Moses (given Adam and Eve are included) the works support each other they do not reduce the credibility of either.

          The sons of Noah in the plain of Shinar were documented in Genesis as the origin of the peoples in the land of ancient Sumer where Gilgamesh was King. Given you know the story you know that the "good sons" of Noah produce the chosen ones while the other clans who stayed in Sumer became the bad guys.

          God who was with Noah continued to be with the chosen ones. Today we still have those who live in the presence of God and those who do not. This is how you can know the living God the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, the Jews and the Gentiles. The living God continues as documented in 25,000 manuscripts, 6 billion Bibles in 451 languages (Quran not included). The living God in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people today with the continuing power to transform lives in the millions annually.
          God is believed in by the majority of the people in the world today (includes Islam as it is based on Old Testament God of Abraham) yet the Epic is simply a great old poem. I do not know of a noticeable group of followers of any gods mentioned in the Epic as the gods in the poem were never living and is self evident.

          That is the difference between a Divine work and the work of man

          November 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • fred

          Doc
          Psalm 104:5 is a praise song to God nothing to do with science and read in context : "He makes the clouds his chariot
          and rides on the wings of the wind.4 He makes winds his messengers,flames of fire his servants.5 He set the earth on its foundations
          =>If you want to imply some science out of this then you can easily associate laws of physics which God established for man as the forces that keep our earth stable for life to exist even though this was the intent of the poem/song

          November 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • fred

          should read "even though this was NOT the intent

          November 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • igaftr

          fred
          Why do you keep citing numbers when the number of people that believe a certain thing has NO BEARING on the validity of the thing. Every time you do it, you show what a weak argument you have, since it shows the incorrect way you think.

          November 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • fred

          igaftr

          Let me see if I understand you correctly. I do not know of a single person who does not clearly understand that the Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem built upon myth in contrast with over 3 billion people who believe in God today. Somehow in your mind that says nothing which should make you wonder what is wrong with your common sense. To pull out some Greek philosophy trick crying out Ad populum to cover what is obviously a simply fact says more about your faith then it does mine.
          Please tell me if you know of anyone who believes in Anu the Sky god of heaven from Sumerian mythology.

          November 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          fred
          There it is again.
          How exactly does more people believing mean it is more true.
          It is possible that all of reality is different than ANYONE knows or believes, since it is highly unlikey that anyone has ALL of the truth.

          Your arguement is still weak. Just because people believe something does not make it true, and just because people don't believe something doesn't make it not true.

          You keep trying to use that lame approach (well x million people believe and X million people can't be wrong....YES THEY CAN)

          November 27, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      The Poe is strong wIth this one.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Yup. I give this Poe 4 out of 10 stars.

        November 26, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  16. JW

    The bible is scientifically and historically accurate,

    The Bible is scientifically accurate. It even contains information that was far ahead of its time. For example, the book of Leviticus contained laws for ancient Israel on quarantine and hygiene when surrounding nations knew nothing about such matters. At a time when there were wrong ideas about the shape of the earth, the Bible referred to it as a circle, or sphere. (Isaiah 40:22) The Bible accurately said that the earth ‘hangs on nothing.’ (Job 26:7) Of course, the Bible is not a science textbook. But when it touches on scientific matters, it is accurate.

    The Bible is also historically accurate and reliable. Its accounts are specific. They include not only the names but also the ancestry of individuals.# In contrast to secular historians, who often do not mention the defeats of their own people, Bible writers were honest, even recording their own failings and those of their nation. In the Bible book of Numbers, for instance, the writer Moses admits his own serious error for which he was severely reproved. (Numbers 20:2-12) Such honesty is rare in other historical accounts but is found in the Bible because it is a book from God.

    November 26, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Funny, wrong but funny!

      November 26, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In Isaiah, the Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin.
      The word for orb/ball is "Dur".
      Since the Biblical geneologies posit people who lived for nigh on 1,000 years, it isn't exactly accurate.
      There was no global flood. Nobody has ever passed a long weekend in a whale's digestive tract. There is no archaeological evidence whatsoever that the Hebrew people were enslaved by the egyptians.
      Mary and Joseph would not have had to travel to Bethlehem to be taxed and counted as the Roman Empire did not collect tax money or census information in that way.
      The Bible is no more historically accurate than The Epic of Gilgamesh or Beowulf.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:05 am |
      • JW

        I believe more in the genealogy of the bible, then in what you say... Because that genealogy was written long time ago and you weren't there... Therefore you can't say that all is a myth!

        November 26, 2013 at 9:09 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Meat machines don't last for 1,000 years.
          You may reject evolutionary theory, but do you also reject simple Mendelian genetics?
          Do a bit of study regarding genetic drift, population bottlenecks and the impossibility of the entire human race having come from 3 breeding pairs of humans, with all the males being 1st order relatives, a mere 4,000 years ago.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Gilgamesh is older than the Bible.
          Archaologists have unearthed the remains of the Kingdom of Uruk and its mighty walls.
          There are independent sources confirming the existence of King Gilgamesh.
          Does that make the Epic historically accurate?

          November 26, 2013 at 9:17 am |
        • JW

          Doc- the theory of evolution is just a... Theory. The scientist are still divided in what that theory really means or is, why? No one was their to really know what happened!

          November 26, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW
          "Just a theory".
          A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.
          There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Science Works

          JW the latest news on evolution.

          Ancient Minerals: Which Gave Rise to Life?

          Nov. 25, 2013 — Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth's raw materials. Scientific models of life's origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life's molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy. But this assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today are much the same as they were during Earth's first 550 million years -

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164814.htm

          November 26, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • lol??

          Science likes to play the word game. wiki,

          "..............Each of the words 'evolution', 'fact' and 'theory' has several meanings in different contexts..............." Poor copycattig of scripture. Nuthin' new here.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Science Works

          lol?? Do you even understand what you type and post ?

          November 26, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • lol??

          OK, explain.

          November 26, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • myweightinwords

      SOME of the historical accounts in the bible are marginally accurate. They get some of the names and places right.

      However, the archaeological record does NOT bear out the details contained in the bible. Do a little research. Try Jericho as an example. Or the size of the "kingdom" David ruled over.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    Enjoy your meal. Enjoy your family and friends. Reach out to the less fortunate.

    Don’t forget however, that ignoring the truth won’t make it go away. Thanksgiving celebrates step one in what would come to be Native American genocide.

    This country was founded by killing and stealing the land of the Native American people.

    Thanksgiving should serve as a reminder of the American Indian Holocaust that killed 100 million men, women and children.

    November 26, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • truthprevails1

      We still see the effects of that today sadly. Children were removed from their homes, put in to Residential schools where they were horribly abused, forced to leave the beliefs behind for fear of severe punishment at the hands of their christian masters, forced to lose their Native Tongue...all in some warped vision to tear down a culture and destroy it.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:00 am |
      • Apple Bush

        A process that took as much as 200 years to complete. That is a lot of hate.

        November 26, 2013 at 9:11 am |
        • Apple Bush

          NEXT on Belief Blog Reality Check, SLAVERY!

          November 26, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • lol??

          Checked the Beast's budget lately?? The Masters are really on the hook.

          Pro 22:7
          The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Sadly yes.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • lol??

          That is a lot of spending by the partiers.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • lol??

          That is a lot of hate for being free and clear.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  18. JW

    Bible questions answered,

    Is the bible a book from God?

    This unique book reveals things that we could never find out otherwise. For example, it tells us about the creation of the starry heavens, the earth, and the first man and woman. The Bible contains reliable principles to help us cope with life’s problems and anxieties. It explains how God will fulfill his purpose and bring about better conditions on the earth.

    November 26, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • nope.

      @JW
      nope.

      November 26, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • truthprevails1

      "it tells us about the creation of the starry heavens, the earth, and the first man and woman"

      Nope, that can all be explained by science...no bible needed and in fact the bible got it all wrong.

      November 26, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • JW

        Truth- what you like is science fiction! Does that puff your intellect just because it's harder to understand?..

        November 26, 2013 at 9:01 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Prove me wrong without using the bible or any of your holy books. We know that the Big Bang occurred and that in itself is the beginning of our universe-no god required; we know that evolution forms our beginnings-none of which coincides with the biblical story. The bible got a great many things wrong, try opening your mind to information outside of it. If any of the crap from the bible were true, it could be taught in schools but it can't be due to the fact that there is nothing to back it.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Apple Bush

          JW, look up the word "fiction" in the dictionary. Open up that dang dictionary and just look it up. Then place your bible and your dictionary side by side and think for a while.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • JW

          What created the Big Bang?

          November 26, 2013 at 9:15 am |
        • Apple Bush

          JW, that is wonderful mystery that science would (and will I believe) resolve. In answering this questing, we will be greeted with so many more wonderful questions to study and answer.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • JW

          The energy that supposly created a Big Bang didn't just come out of nothing?? That would be anti science...

          November 26, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          We do not know what caused the Big Bang, but we have a great number of clues, so we still admit we do not know. None of the clues indicate any gods.
          Why do so many take we don't know to mean there is a god?

          November 26, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Apple Bush

          JW, you lost me.

          November 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • truthprevails1

          JW: Just because an answer is not available does not mean you get to plug a god in to the factor. What created your god?
          "Science is questions that may never be answered, Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

          November 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sure.
      An anthropomorphic, anthropocentric Creator breathed life and intelligence into a clump of dirt and clay.
      The dirt man became lonely, so the Creator excised parts of his skeleton and cloned him a companion, after slight modifications in the XY chromosome arrangement.
      These people lived to be nearly 1,000 years old and spawned the entire human race. eEen though in the beginning the woman bore only sons, they somehow found wifes of a different genetic stock so there would be no issues regarding inbreeding.
      One day, the Creator took a mulligan on all the life He made and, save for a small boatload of creatures, committed unicide.
      Some 4,000 years ago, the 6 breeding humans from the boat began the pro-create at an astounding rate, somehow seeding the entire planet with the diversity of ho/mo sapiens we see today.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • myweightinwords

      This unique book reveals things that we could never find out otherwise.

      You start right off with misinformation. The bible is not unique. There are a lot of books that claim to be holy scripture. There are a lot of books that tell a creation story, all of them filled with fantasy and the "explanations" of primitive minds trying to express the beauty and wonder of "creation" with inadequate words and imagery. There are a lot of books full of religious myth and the "history" of any number of subsets of the human race.

      The bible is not unique.

      For example, it tells us about the creation of the starry heavens, the earth, and the first man and woman.

      Again, it contains a metaphoric story based in primitive man's understanding of the cosmos and what he believed was the origin of his race.

      The Bible contains reliable principles to help us cope with life’s problems and anxieties.

      It does? Like what? How to not eat shellfish or pork? How to not wear mixed fibers? How to beat our children and our slaves? Live according to the full bible's "reliable principles" to the letter and you would find yourself rightfully jailed.

      It explains how God will fulfill his purpose and bring about better conditions on the earth.

      It makes promises about some distant "better" but does nothing to help mankind get there, and does nothing to alleviate the suffering that has been a part of this world for thousands upon thousands of years.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  19. Squanto

    Psalm 100

    1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
    3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

    4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
    5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

    November 26, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Psalm 137

      By the rivers of Babylon,
      there we sat and we wept
      as we remembered Zion.
      On the poplars within her we hung our lyres,
      for it was there our captors asked us for words of song,
      and our tormentors – for their amusement –
      said, “Sing for us from a song of Zion.”
      How can we sing a song of the Lord on foreign soil?
      O Jerusalem, if I should forget you may my right hand wither.
      May my tongue cleave to my palate
      if I cease to remember you,
      if I do not cause Jerusalem to be raised
      to the very top of my joy.
      Do you remember, O Lord, the Edomites on
      the day of Jerusalem?
      How they said, “Tear her down!
      Down to her very foundation!”
      O, Daughter of Babylon, you despoiler,
      Happy is the one who pays you your recompense
      as you dealt out to us.
      Happy the one who will seize and dash your infants against the rock!

      November 26, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Dante

      Those with a grateful heart will give thanks this Thanksgiving by singing Psalm 100.

      The rest of them will find solace and comfort in reading other Psalms this Thanksgiving.

      November 26, 2013 at 9:00 am |
      • Apple Bush

        While still others will not read anything and watch football, for yea they knoweth the truth.

        November 26, 2013 at 9:16 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.