A turkey named Obama

No, really – I’m serious.

We did the turkey thing in America because it was a chance to get the family together on a day that wasn’t Shabbat. I was the religious one – the one who kept kosher, didn’t drive on the Sabbath, etc. – so I was usually the one who made the turkey (although we did spend one Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and we brought our own food…which was not the greatest of experiences, though my aunt and uncle tried and were incredibly hospitable).

So – me…turkey…my oven…my table…

And somewhere along the way, we got to naming our turkeys. Please tell me I’m not the only one and if I am…please don’t tell me. So, we had the usual names…if there are any. I remember Herman was one name we used. I think George was another.

After a particularly miserable experience with an architect – Charlie became our festive meal for a few years. And then, between moving and whatever, a bunch of years we didn’t do the turkey thing at all. Thursday is a work day in Israel and it just didn’t come about.

Plus, trying to get a whole turkey in Israel is an experience of monumental proportions. In some stores, they don’t seem to understand that turkeys actually come whole and it is man, not God, that cuts them into pieces. “What are you going to do with that?” asked one rather shocked worker when I said, loudly, “NO!!!! Don’t cut it!”

So, yesterday, I picked up the turkey (actually, at over 7 kilo, my son picked it up and I watched). Turkey and Thanksgiving is no longer unknown in Israel and so the meat department actually had several to choose from….and we got…yup, Obama.

Even before we’d left the store, we dubbed our turkey “Obama.” Why? Oh, so many reasons – he’s made a turkey out of the US, for one thing. Honestly, a laughing stock among the Arab nations at least…as I wrote recently, I can hear the Iranians giggling.

And because Obama lives in the land of hypocrisy…Obamacare is one example; his ongoing refusal to release Jonathan Pollard for doing a heck of a lot less than Obama himself did in relation to spying on allies (and fellow Americans); and honestly, telling Israel he has our back and then going behind it for months to negotiate and sign an agreement with Iran – yup…turkey.

So tonight, my husband and I, four of our five children, two of their spouses, one son’s mother-in-law (and a great friend), and a cousin who is more like a brother to one daughter-in-law, and two gorgeous grandchildren will sit down and cut Obama into pieces.

I’ll take Obama’s bones and boil them tomorrow for our Shabbat soup as I was taught many years ago by my mother-in-law and perhaps even cut Obama into some sort of turkey salad.

And yeah, the ghoulish tradition of naming the turkey will, for once, not bother me. For once, I can laugh at Obama and know that tonight, at least, he will serve in the best interests of Israel…or at least, one Israeli family.

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.
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