In the United States, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of feasting, and it often serves as a public expression of thanks to God in the form of prayerful eating of food. It commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest and a friendly relationship between Plymouth Colonists and Native Americans in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington was celebrated on November 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday.
On Thursday, November 26, 2020, Thanksgiving Day, I want to share my thoughts on the ‘Social’ dimension of man’s existence in the natural world. Man’s mental health and well-being are determined by his ability to formulate harmonious social relations. Man uses food and drink as tools to develop and to sustain his social relationships.
The word “LOVE” does not appear in the TORAH( Law) given to the Jews at Mount Sinai. I conducted a study of the holiday traditions of the US and I am totally surprised to note that there is no traditional celebration of the Proclamation of the two Great Love Commandments of Jesus Christ. Jewish Holiday “SHAVUOT” celebrates the giving of the ‘TORAH'(the LAW or Instruction) to the Jews. God gave the Ten Commandments ( The Decalogue, The Code of The Ten Words)on the sixth night of the Hebrew month of ‘Sivan’. Shavuot always falls 50 days(PENTECOST) after the second night of Passover. The 49 days between Passover and Shavuot are known as ‘Omer’. While Jesus Christ has retained the essence of The Code of The Ten Words; but, He has changed the Operating Principle of the TORAH or The Law. Jesus has instructed that the Law would be followed by His believers not through the use of force or authority but by simply embracing the equally powerful influence called “LOVE.”
I am posting this article to make an open appeal to all the members of the US Congress to pass a decree or law to commence a new tradition in the national life that celebrates the central role of love in developing wholesome human relationships. I am using the term ‘Whole Body’ to describe the perfect unity of body, mind, heart, soul, and God that establishes man as a Whole Being. Love is central to man’s relationship to God and man’s relations with other persons. The term love includes the feelings or the emotion of love expressed by a person( “The Subject”) and it involves a personal experience evoked when another person(“The Object”) reflects the feelings of love. Love has to be known as “The Medium” that generates the attachment or devotion to another person; and this attachment implies connection by ties of affection, sexual attraction, devotion, friendship, goodwill, compassion, respect, trust, and commitment. This kind of care and concern for a person, or persons in a relationship could be called ‘Whole Love’ if whatever is done for Love occurs beyond good and evil.
The concept of Holiday begins with the story of creation as revealed in the Book of Genesis and it involves the observance of a ‘Holy Day’. “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done(Genesis, Chapter 2, verse#3).”
Holiday is a day of freedom from labor sanctioned by God, and it is set aside for leisure and recreation to renew man’s relationship with his Creator. In Civil Society, certain days are set aside by Law or Custom and Traditions for the suspension of official business activities and very often in commemoration of some important events in national life. I am using the term ‘Whole Holiday’ to recognize a specific day that is set aside by Human Law in recognition of the Divine Law that is conducive to the development of harmonious, or wholesome interpersonal relationships that are essential to promote the health, and well-being of all people. In the US, there are several holidays that are legal and none of them directly address the central issue of developing Love relationships.
Martin Luther King Day is a holiday observed on the third Monday in January to commemorate the birthday(January 15) of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr(1929-1968) for his role in improving interracial relationships.
Presidents’ Day is a legal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, specially commemorating the birthday of President George Washington(February.22), 1732-1799, First President of the US(1789-1797) and President Abraham Lincoln(February.12),1809-1865, 16th President of the US(1861-1865).
The tradition of Memorial Day holiday was instituted in 1868 as ‘Decoration Day’ to honor the Civil War dead. The last Monday in May is observed as a legal holiday in memory of the dead servicemen of all wars for they gave their precious lives to let the countrymen enjoy all their freedoms.
Fourth of July or Independence Day is a legal holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The first Monday in September is observed as Labor Day, a legal holiday to pay tribute to the American Workforce which includes millions of hard-working hourly wage earners who are often called laborers.
Columbus Day is a legal holiday in the US commemorating the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492. The holiday is observed on the second Monday in October.
Veterans Day is a legal holiday honoring all veterans of the armed forces. It is observed on Armistice Day – November 11, the anniversary of the armistice of World War I in 1918.
Thanksgiving Day is among the major US holiday traditions to commemorate the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest of 1621 at Plymouth Colony. The US Congress decreed in 1941 to observe this holiday of thanksgiving and feasting on the fourth Thursday of November.
Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 and it has become a popular tradition to choose or to greet a sweetheart. But this concept of romantic interest in a person is more related to a sexual attraction and other attributes of ‘Whole Love’ such as trust, respect, and commitment may not be always present. Secondly, the tradition of Valentine’s Day is not related to the concept of God is Love and God Loves man.
Christmas Day Holiday celebration should reflect the very essence of Christianity. The Gospel according to Apostle John, Chapter 3, verse# 16 declares: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The Christmas tradition is about the Joy that is associated with the birth of baby Jesus and the exchange of gifts to express the sense of happiness. Christmas holiday is not in remembrance of God’s Law. Jesus Christ has established ‘LOVE’ as the God’s Greatest Commandment. The Gospel according to Apostle Matthew(Chapter 22, verses#37-40), and The Gospel according to Apostle Mark(Chapter 12, verses# 28-31) describe the Commandments of Love: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first great commandment. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two Commandments.” The Gospel according to Apostle John, Chapter 13, verse# 34 describes the need for neighborly relations among people based upon Love: “A new command I give you: Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
WHOLE LOVE – WHOLE TRADITION – WHOLE LAW – WHOLE HOLIDAY:
In the United States, we have no Law, or a cultural tradition to commemorate the event in which Jesus Christ has issued the two great commandments asking people to observe the Law of ‘Whole Love’ which demands, 1. The Love of God with Whole Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul, and 2. The Love of Neighbor as a requirement of God’s Law for man. After my ‘Whole Discovery’, the discovery of the experience of ‘Whole Love’ at Whole Foods Market, Ann Arbor, Michigan on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, I have decided to promote the establishment of a ‘Whole Tradition’ to follow the Spirit of the ‘Whole Law’ to truly observe the Commandment of ‘Whole Love’. To commemorate my ‘Whole Discovery’, I am writing this appeal to ask all the members of the US Congress to approve a new Law to observe the last Wednesday of July as the ‘Whole Love Holiday’. The choice of Wednesday is very appropriate as most other legal holidays are observed on Mondays as a matter of convenience and not for the purposes of obedience to a Divine Law which should be the source and inspiration for the Human Law. The concept of ‘Whole Love’ represents the ‘Whole Law’ that is explicitly pronounced by Jesus Christ as the only Commandment that man must follow and observe in his lifetime. To acknowledge the ‘Whole Law’, to celebrate its pronouncement, we need a new ‘Whole Tradition’ which is reflected by instituting a new ‘Whole Holiday’.