10 July 2011

I am Jewish too, and here is why...

The following quotes need a bit of introduction. Israeli rabbinical authorities, being (sometimes justly, as you shall see) somewhat suspicious of Jewishness of some new repatriates, question them to establish their roots. The results are frequently hilarious. So here we go. If you feel confused by some quotes, feel free to ask.

- A young man invited me to dinner at a restaurant. After dinner I found out that I ate a piece of pork. My mood was spoiled, and I went home. At home I told all to my grandfather, a rabbi. Poor grandfather stood all night on his knees, praying for me.

- Every day I went to synagogue. In Riga there were two synagogues: one Catholic, the other Orthodox.

- My grandmother was very religious woman and has always taught us kids not to mix kosher and non-kosher.

- I know that if a woman is in her "critical" days, no one will shake her hand.

- My parents are very pious people. Father never starts fire on Saturday and lights up his cigarette from a candle that my mother lit on Friday. Mom generally doesn't smoke.

- Frankly, I was a party member over there, but on all Soviet Holidays I've attended the synagogue.

- The Lord invited Moses on Mount Sinai to hand him the Torah in intimate atmosphere.

- Of all four brothers of my mother only one wasn't Jewish.

- On Saturday we didn't even ride deers.

- When our grandson was born, we Christened him by a Jewish name.

- The first time I was jailed for Trotskyism, and the second for Zionism. So I always remained a religious Jew.

- My father's second wife was Jewish. I was born by his second wife. This can be confirmed by my father and his first and third wife, who hadn't given birth to me.

- When I grew up, my mother told me that we are Jews. I myself would have never thought of it.

- Since we are from Ukraine, the family suffered a great deal while others ate bacon.

- Often my grandmother fried gefilte fish for dinner.

- At Judgement Day in our family we were not given something to eat. But we were told why.

- Yes, I broke several glasses at my wedding.

- Abraham is considered to be the first Jew, because he was kicked out of the house.

- We have two sets of dishes, one for fish dishes and the other one for meat.

- My grandmother Evdokiya Nikiforovna, earned a living doing laundry for a Jewish family. Subsequently, she had an intimate relationship with the head of the family, Iosif Davidovich. From this connection, my mother Antonina Iosifovna was born. Since age seventeen she did laundry for a Jewish family. From my mother's cohabitation with the head of household Yakov Moiseevich, I, Ekaterina Yakovlevna, was born. At present I do laundry for a Jewish family and have a daughter Alice bat Maimon from the head of the family, Maimon Ben Alush.

Hat tip: Y.Z.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


No Good Boyo said...

A delight! I remember a possibly apocryphal story about the Arab to whom the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi sold Israel's chametz each year. A newspaper asked him if he was happy to perform this service for the Jews, what with the intifada and everything. "Sure," he replied, "I've never had any problems with the Jews. For one thing, my mum is Jewish!"

SnoopyTheGoon said...

He he he. Hametz is still sold every year. No significant diminishing of stocks noticed by anyone.

jams o donnell said...

Very funny Snoopy but I had no idea that you were Jewish yourself!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I am considering laying off bacon soon. And that habit of Sunday school...

Noga said...

These stories are like the records from the Spanish Inquisition which interrogated conversos suspected of doing Jewish despite several generation of baptism. Thus you could hear that Hannuka was "the small Christmas" that came before the big Christmas.  One conversa confessed that she felt obliged to say the Shema everyday, or else she might endanger her immortal soul in its last flight to meet Jesus. It comes from having some knowledge but no real intellectual infrastructure to explain some practices.

My friend Alla, 40 years in Israel and still "a Russian", told me her brother married a Mongol woman whose friends testified in the rabbinical court as to her pristine Jewish lineage. His son became an ultra orthodox rabbi, but not before he underwent a period of being a self-hating Jew in New York. Go figure. 

The rabbis are tres passe. It is my position and if I had the talent for it I would have created a political party to promote the idea that Judaism ought to be an openly proslytizing religion welcoming anyone who wants to become Jewish be one, without having to resort to subterfuge. If anyone who walks by a synagogue and, struck by the beauty of the building, feels he  or she would like to be a member of a congregation that convenes I such a place, the doors should fly open to welcome him/her. Any reason would do.

Dick Stanley said...

Doing laundry for a Jewish family. Why, yes, that should qualify.

Katie said...

Reminds me of the Bible Quiz answers given by Catholic Children.

Thanks...I needed the laugh.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

While my approach to conversion is very close to yours, Noga, I beg to differ on the first paragraph. Many of the non-Jewish repartriants to Israel, esp. from the nineties, don't really have any feelings towards Judaism in the best case and negative feelings in the worst. A good percentage of them came over due to mundane economic reasons and/or because the spouse or other relative came.

As you may know, quite a lot of spontaneous demonstrations of anti-Semitism were and are being observed here as a result.

But of course, I agree, the conversion process should be relaxed, as it was a few millennia ago.

However, if you expect many conversions due to beauty of the synagogue buildings, you may be sorely disappointed ;)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, sure.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yep, that was my first impression too.

Dick Stanley said...

Should be relaxed, but won't be. The Orthodox, the self-appointed keepers of Torah Judaism, will never allow it. Particularly the Ultras in Israel.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, that's definitely true.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't have to be.

If Jews could rise up to this challenge:

"Im Tirzu, ein zu agada"

they can stand up to the ultras.

It's just most Israelis are quite passive about it, waiting for others to do the heavy lifting for them. 

A change in the coalition assembly laws would be a first step.

Another possibility, the Knesset will legislate itself the natural and historical legatee of the Great Sanhedrin, and the laws that it passes - pertain, to those who want to.

The ultras can continue to marry amongst themselves. But I predict thay can't go on forever. Love, freedom, independence, will beckon, sooner or later. It's the Jewish way, you know.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Let's hope you are right.

kisu4all said...

Save judaisam frm zionisam .mother s jew mins child s jew ?