Is it permissible to eat turkey on thanksgiving?
No problem. Same as any other day.
And is it ok to make a seuda etc?
We, as religious Jews give thanks on a daily basis. We don’t get together on a preordained day with family etc unless it’s Torah mandated or Rabbinicaly decreed.
However, if your using it as an excuse to get together and eat as a family then go for it
President Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent [Father] who dwelleth in the Heavens,”
I had been taught this made the observance of it forbidden, since it’s a Christian president’s call to prayer, and in fact many churches hold Thanksgiving day services. Can you please clarify the ruling on actually commemorating the day with a special meal that honors it?
You are not satisfied with the above responses, or you want a more aggressive approach, possibly more similar to how you have been taught?
just clarity. raCHDaL implied that it’s forbidden since it’s not Torah manadated or Rabbinicaly decreed, and then you said “however”, so it’s unclear. obviously, if it’s a day when practically everyone is off from work/school it’s going to become a day when people get together. the question is if it matters whether people are gathering officially calling it a Thanksgiving celebration. i’d ask the same question about January 1.
I think to clarify, the point here is the intent. It you are intending to make a thanksgiving ceremony with all its associated pomp then the answer is no. If on the other hand everyone is off of work and you want to take advantage of the time off, there is surely no prohibition to a family meal. Lets face it this is not our holiday. There is no mitzvah to intentionally eat turkey. Yet with the focus being purely recreational there is no prohibition either.