Maybe, possibly you made a mistake?

November 28th, 2017 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 6 comments

I was watching Susan and yourself on TCT and you stated that the U.S.A. was the only country in the world to celebrate Thanksgiving. I was wondering if your neighbour to the north, Canada, celebrates Thanksgiving.

I enjoy your program immensely! Keep up the good work.

Respectfully,

Barry, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

Dear Barry,

May we compliment you on your good manners? Rather than chiding us for being wrong, you gently asked a question. When we saw how you spelled ‘neighbour’ we began to suspect our mistake and when we saw that your signature included your location of Ontario, Canada, we knew we were in trouble.

Our television show on the TCT network, Ancient Jewish Wisdom, is not scripted. We sometimes surprise ourselves with what comes out of our mouths! Clearly, we spoke off-the-cuff and incorrectly here.

We appreciate your correcting us in such a delicate fashion. You might be interested to know that your method of correction is exactly that which is recommended by ancient Jewish wisdom when a child thinks his or her parent made a mistake. Rather than saying, “Uh, uh,” or “That’s nonsense,” the child is encouraged to ask a question such as, “Is it possible that the first speeding ticket in the U.S. was given in 1899 to Jacob German and not in 1904 to Harry Myers?” (It’s impossible to look up just one fact once you start researching.)

According to our not-off-the-cuff findings, Canadian Thanksgiving came into being at least as long ago as 1879 and since 1957 takes place annually on the second Monday of October and is, “a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” But you probably know more about it than we do.

We personally are filled with thanksgiving for the breathtaking beauty of Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia where we have been blessed to spend most of our summers.

Red-faced and thankful for viewers like you,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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6 comments

David Altschuler says:

Benjamin Franklin, early in his autobiography, attributes much personal success to his acquired habit of gentle suggestions or questions as ways to contradict an erroneous assertion.

Susan Lapin says:

That’s a great autobiography, David.

Jerry says:

Just a small post from a Christian Sister. At our family Thanksgiving, I (Grandmother) share the Thanksgiving story. And it is not about the Turkey! It is about when the Children of Israel returned from captivity and they gathered together and the Torah was read aloud to them. And they fell on their faces with thanksgiving. I believe it is the best thanksgiving story ever and one we should all share. Bless you. Love your teachings.

Susan Lapin says:

What fortunate grandchildren you have.

Lisa Fulkerson says:

Thank you for the lesson on how to kindly correct a person!!

Susan Lapin says:

We were quite impressed with Barry as well, Lisa.

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