From What Time May Turkey Preparations Begin?
How High Must the Flag Fly? “As High As An Elephant’s Eye.”
They have begun discussing the issues involved with regulating these holiday observances and recording the proceedings in a new set of scriptures called Talmud Americani, to stand alongside the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi.
The Kronikle’s intrepid reporters have penetrated the inner sanctums of the deliberating rabbis and transmitted some of the livelier discussions for the benefit of our readers. Here are some of the overheard excerpts:
How high must a flag fly on the fourth of July? There is a gezeira shava between flags and corn. The Gemara brings forward two beraitot, one from South Pacific and the other from Oklahoma, two seforim written by Rav Rodgers and Rav Hammerstein.
“I’m as corny as Kansas in August, high as a flag on the fourth of July” and “There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.” Corn and height are mentioned in both citations. One might ask of the first citation, how high does a flag have to fly on the fourth of July?
The answer is obvious by juxtaposing the second citation – as high as an elephant’s eye. But are we talking about an African elephant or an Asian elephant? That will have to wait until Elijah the Prophet returns.
The rabbis discuss another case related to the Thanksgiving holiday. One asks when it is permissible to start preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner. An answer is proposed based on a reading of another beraita brought by Reb Sheldon Harnick which says “I’d fill my yard with chicks and turkeys and ducks for the town to see and hear, squawking just as noisily as they can.”
Reb Harnick continues, “and each loud squawk would land like a trumpet on the ear.” Trumpet must mean shofar, and therefore chicks and turkeys and ducks (turducken) may be prepared from the time the last shofar blast is blown on Yom Kippur.
This is confirmed by another proof from Reb Hammerstein who says “Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry when I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top.” What fringe could he be talking about except tzitzit? So that is further proof that the optimum time to start Thanksgiving preparations is early in the morning after Yom Kippur but not until it’s time to put on tzitzit before the Shacharit prayers.