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 הודו וחג ההודייה / "Thanksgiving" in Hebrew

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הודו וחג ההודייה - Following the Turkey Day....

It's not assimilation, neither the Iranian nuclear bomb is the real threat on the future of the world Jewry. It's food, and food only which is killing us. Gosh, it was unbelievable... My friends from Boston came over here for three days, and we ate this huge turkey, and then like the turkey was not enough, we had some smoked beef (that I personally smoked for over 5 hours on my backyard), and then it was a lot of turkey stuffing, and coleslaw, and herring, and pumkin pie and all the other good stuff... I swear, eating is one of our worst national habits, we eat a lot - and delicious food is part of Jewish national character, either for Ashkenazim from Poland or Russia, Sepharadim from Turkey, Moroccan or Yemenite Jews - we all eat A LOT, and we all are proud of our cooking.

The bottom line is, unlike say Christmass or even Halloween, American Thanksgiving (alongside with Independence Day) is celebrated by all of the American Jews, including Orthodox Jews. So, let's take a look on some Hebrew vocabulary for Thanksgiving:

הוֹדָיָה or חַג הָהוֹדָיָה - Thanksgiving (non-vocalized spelling: הודייה)

Surprisingly, the word "turkey" in Hebrew looks similar, although it's a pure coincidence: it's called "indian chicken"/"chicken of India", in Hebrew: תרנגול הודו or simply הודו.

הוֹדוּ or תַּרְנְגוֹל הוֹדוּ [ tarnegol hodu ] - turkey, "indian chicken". As a separate word, תרנגול means rooster, and תרנגולת [ tarnegolet ] is a hen. (When we talk about chicken for food, the word עוֹף - "bird" - is the one in use in modern Hebrew, but just for chicken. Turkey is always referred as הודו.)

So, the word הודו in Hebrew refers either to turkey or to India, depending on the context. (It's like pretty much the same phenomenon like in English everybody is calling porcelain "china".)

הוֹדוּ מְמוּלָא - stuffed turkey
(and speaking of stuffing, the same word ממולא is used for the gefilte fish: דַג ממולא)

Hope you had happy Thanksgiving! :)

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