This Tractate was written by Rick Dinitz and published here by his generous permission.
Can be downloaded as PDF here.
Excerpts from Tractate Thanksgiving
Newly-Translated Fragments from the Chelm Genizah
© Rick Dinitz, 1997, 2016
Hodu lAdoshem ki tov.
[(Eating) turkey for (the sake of) Hashem is good.]
Perek Heh, Mishnah Aleph
Hodu lAdoshem ki tov—keitzad.
[Waving turkey (during Hallel)—how is it done]?
They take the arba minim [four kinds] together—turkey, cranberry, corn and
squash—and wave them east, south, west, north, up and down.
Rabbi Yose says: When (does this apply)? When everyone in the congregation
has a good sense of humor.
Rabbi Tarfon says: When everyone in the congregation is a good juggler.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Bet
How much do they wave (what is the minimum)?
Bet Shammai say: Turkey, all of it. Cranberry, one kav. Corn, one stalk.
Squash, one vine.
Bet Hillel say: Turkey, one limb. Cranberry, one berry. Corn, one kernel.
Squash, one squashlet.
Rabbi Akiva says: let him wave whatever he has.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Gimel
They take them together—keitzad [how is it done]?
Bet Hillel says: They place them in a basket and wave the basket.
Bet Shammai says: They stuff the three inside the turkey and wave the turkey.
Rabbi Yehoshua says: they stuff all four inside a pita, and wave the pita.
Rabbi Akiva says: They eat all four, and wave their bodies.
Rabbi Tarfon says: It is not up you to finish the eating, but neither are you free
to eat nothing—after all, a person has to eat.
Perek Heh, Mishnah Dalet
When do they wave?
Rabbi Shimon says: like a lulav (at the same times when we would wave a
lulav on Sukkot).
Rabbi Yose HaGlili says: Through all of Hallel Hagadol—on each “ki l'olam
chasdo” (they wave).
Rabbi Akiva says: If so, it how would they digest what they have eaten? (That
is, waving the body so many times in rapid sequence after eating a heavy
meal is bound to cause trouble.)
They said to him: They do not eat until after the earliest time for Minchah
(which is after Hallel).
Rabbi Yehoshua says: In the Galil I saw that when they sing “Noten lechem
l'chol basar” [God gives bread for all flesh] they eat the sandwich of turkey in
Perek Heh, Mishnah Heh Heh Heh
Until when do they wave? Chamishi. [(Only on) Thursday; alternatively,
chamesh, for five days].
Shammai says: Me-Hodu ad Kush. (That is, they continue waving until
Rabbi Eliezer says: When (does this apply)? Only to the king. Shene'emar [as
it is said]: Melech me-Hodu ad Kush. Everyone else waves only for one day,
but all eat leftover turkey until it is finished.
Rabbi Shimon says: L'olam [forever] (that is, they never stop waving).
Shene'emar: Hodu lAdoshem ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo.
But the sages say: If he waves it chutz lizmano [beyond the appointed time],
pasul le'echol [it is unfit to eat].
Perek Zayin, Mishnah Gimel
What kind of squash?
Rabbi says: Zucchini.
Rabban Gamliel says: En zaken b'Cheshvan [nobody (harvests) zucchini in
(the month of) Cheshvan].
The sages say: Don't read “zucchini”—but rather “zaken” [an old squash].
Perek Zayin, Mishnah Dalet
Cranberry relish and cranberry sauce, kasher [it is fit for waving]. But
cranberry juice, cranberry jelly, or cranberry cobbler, pasul [it
is not fit].
Corn soup, popcorn, and caramel corn, kasher. But cornbread is pasul,
because of the flour. Corndogs are pasul, because of the dog.
(Presumably this kind of dog lacks either fins or scales.)
Resh Lakish says: With pumpkin pie, kasher.
His son says: My mother would make pareve pumpkin pie for the waving.
Perek Yod, Mishnah Vav
Rabban Gamliel says: Squash I understand, but what are turkey, cranberry
They said to him: Corn—I'm all ears. Cranberry—don't get bogged down in
such details. Turkey—(this refers to an) am haaretz [unlearned person].
He (Rabban Gamliel) said to them: Whoever cannot explain these three
things has not fulfilled their obligation.
But the sages say: The Torah is a Torah for all times and all lands (that is, when
God will reveal these foods to us, we will know the halachah for what to do
Kakatuv: v'alchalta, v'savata, uverachta.
[As it is written: You'll eat, and you'll be satisfied, and you'll bless.]
© Rick Dinitz, 1997, 2016