In a message dated 3/14/2005 10:05:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
< The New York Post, one of New York City's leading daily newspapers, this week
printed a theory that Abraham Lincoln may have been a secret Jew, or descended
from Jews. (The columnist offering the information admitted that this theory isunsubstantiated.)
< Has any Genner heard a similar rumor (or "bubbemeiser") in his or her own
==That appears to be an insider joke of the literati. A few weeks ago, a book
(or article) set out to prove he was really a homosexual, and I've heard many
humorous takes on the topic and the reasoning (or evidence) behind it..
==Americans, Jews and Gentiles, seem to have a hankering for "exotic" ancestors.
I've had many people write to me asking me, on the flimsiest of evidence (a
German name, a braided loaf eaten weekends, a dislike for bacon, or a tendency to
say "oy" when they sighed) to confirm that an ancestor was, in fact, Jewish.
==Recently I read in these pages a report about a Catholic priest who knows he's
a Spanish Maranno because his parents had a variety of customs--including playing
with a dreidel around Xmas, apparently ignorant of the fact that the Dreidel is an
Ashkenazi custom and was not part of Sefardi customs.
==I understand that any time a person well known >from the stage, sports or
government dies, there are likely to be lots of queries "Is it true that So-and-so
was Jewish?" that moderators are required, by the jewishgen code, to reject.
==Similarly, Many Jews appear to aspire to Sefardi ancestry in these lists, on
the flimsiest of evidence.
==It's good to learn more and more about our ancestry and the heritage of our
ancestors, but investing energy in desperately seeking exotic ancestry based on
the shakiest of factoids is really a waste of energy and opportunities.
==ALL our ancestors were good and worthy of being remembered by us.
Michael Bernet, New York