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The Halakha of Deep-Frying Turkey

We asked for your best / Thanksgivukkah haikus / Here are the winners

Elissa Goldstein
November 19, 2013

Last week, lunchtime banter at Tablet HQ somehow led to a staff Thanksgivukkah haiku email chain. We had so much fun writing our “Thanksgivukkus” that we decided to open the challenge to you, our dear readers. The prize? Glory. Fleeting fame. And this handsome turkey t-shirt.

We received over 170 entries. (You can read most of them here and here). Recurring motifs/themes included: dreidels, latkes, oil, candles, family, turkeys, thankfulness, existential angst. So basically, the Stuff of Life.

The winner was Michael Yosef Miller, whose synthesis of the contemporary (deep-frying turkey) with the Talmudic (Hillel vs. Shammai) garnered unanimous praise from the judges.

Happy Thanksgivukkah, everyone! And keep the haikus coming—here in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter with the hashtag #Thanksgivukku.


Hillel and Shammai
split on the halakha of
deep-frying turkey.
— Michael Yosef Miller

Runners Up

Hodu means ‘thanks’ and
‘Turkey’ in Hebrew. A mere
coincidence? Yes.
— Andrew Silow-Carroll

Thanksgivukah, man.
Seventy-nine thousand years?
Menurkey? Heirloom!
— Sara Beth Berman

Nun, gobble, hey, shin
Menorahs shaped like turkeys
I am so confused
— Regina Joskow

Why would I want a
Shirt that can only be worn
Once in my lifetime?
— Rafi Samuels-Schwartz

If you don’t deep fry
Turkey on Thanksgivukkah
You’re doing it wrong
— Dana Kroop

Interfaith in-laws
Celebrate all together
For one night at least
— Davida Steinberg

You tarty tease, you
As quickly as a flash fry
Our affair will end
— Sarah Aroeste

8 nights’ worth of oil
Turkey, stuffing, cranberries…
Oy! The heartburn comes.
— Jordana Horn

Staff Highlights

Festival of Lights
And Thanksgiving together
Someone pass the Tums
— Wayne Hoffman

O’ Thanksgivukkah
Gelt and gizzard, the night when
Wishbones snap even
— Adam Chandler

My turkey dreidel
Shining star you were that night
Spinning in gravy
— Stephanie Butnick

Aunt Marci once tried
Latkes from leftover mashed
Potatoes. She failed.
— Jesse Oxfeld

Elissa Goldstein is Tablet’s director of audience development. She also produces Unorthodox. Follow her on Twitter here.