“Rock of Ages let our song / Praise thy saving power / Thou amidst the raging foes / Wast our sheltering tower….” This is the first verse of Maoz Tzur as translated, loosely from the original Hebrew, by Marcus Jastrow and Gustav Gottheil in the late 1800s.
Last week, we looked at famous people often misidentified as Jews. Due to either a self-serving bias or a buy-in to modern Jewish stereotypes, we claim the likes of Stephen Colbert and Joy Behar as co-religionists. In the same vein, we are often surprised when we find out that famous people who lack that Jewish je ne sais quoi are, in fact, members of the tribe. These are the top celebrities that, believe it or not, are actually Jewish.
Here’s a quiz:
What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah?
“Half way through the date, Daniel asked me out on a second date! Ever since, it seems we have been inseparable. We are both exactly what the other person was looking for.”
The Torah is filled with stories of people’s lives. Some of these stories are uplifting and inspirational, others are depressing and tragic. Of all the Biblical biographies, that of King David is certainly one of the most riveting. His life is full of adventure, danger and romance. His family life, however, was filled with pain and tragedy, none greater than the tragedy of Amnon and Tamar.
I may have mentioned before that I refer to the wedding weekend as the Wedding Olympics. Instead of star athletes, there’s a star couple! There’s a lot of promotion that goes into it for months prior (the real Olympics has a theme song. Do you?) People travel to be there and set up camps in Wedding Olympics Village, otherwise known as “hotel blocks for the X wedding.” Nikes and leotards are traded in for tuxes and dresses, but there still seems to be a costume or uniform, of sorts. Oh, and the bride and groom get a prize instead of medals; they get each other! And there are so many events!
Hungarian immigrant and apprentice cigar maker, Sigmund Shlesinger (1848-1928) probably never expected to become a frontiersman.
Maybe because it fuels some tribal connection, maybe because it makes us proud by association, or maybe because it’s just fun to gossip, Jews love talking about whom else is Jewish. Claiming an accomplished celebrity, humanitarian, or entrepreneur as one of our own is as stereotypical a Jewish pastime as eating bagels or nagging. But even the most adept purveyors of Jewish tidbits can get things wrong on occasion. Below are eight celebrities who are regularly misidentified as Jews.
If wealth does not lead to happiness then what does? Happiness experts Elizabeth W. Dunn of the University of British Columbia, Daniel T. Gilbert from Harvard University and Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia allege that experiences keep people merrier than belongings. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking but at least it’s an investment everyone can afford. Their latest paper suggests new ways of spending that will help you stay happy.
Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, begins:
“Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua; Joshua to the elders; the elders to the prophets; and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Assembly…” (1:1)