A wonderful new book about the Mayflower Pilgrims suggests the beaver should join the turkey as a Thanksgiving symbol. The Pilgrims depended heavily on beaver pelts to send back home to make stylish hats, since their goal was making money, not just survival.
“Making Haste from Babylon” by Englishman Nick Bunker is the first major history of the Plymouth settlement in a generation, and portrays the Pilgrims as industrious entrepreneurs, not just religious dreamers. They saw no contradiction between striving to prosper and serving God, and saw the two goals as necessarily connected. Bunker suggests the real first Thanksgiving occurred almost a year before the famous feast with the Indians, when the Pilgrims, well-schooled in Hebrew and Old Testament traditions, re-enacted the ancient Jewish rite Birkat HaGomel—a blessing for deliverance still performed by Orthodox Jews today.Wishing you the richest blessings this Thanksgiving,