“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?
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.
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.
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)
As the world changes, the modern day sages must often reevaluate the application of Jewish law in order to correlate it with the findings of contemporary medicine.
“The Chosen People,” as the Jews are sometimes known, has been misunderstood by some as an indication that Judaism disdains those who are not Jewish. This, of course, is not true.
This year, National Geography Awareness Week (this week) has chosen the theme of “freshwater.”