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Imaginary Vampires, Imagined Jews

1897 was a watershed year in Jewish history. The first Zionist Congress convened in a grand hotel in Basel, Switzerland. With much less pomp and circumstance, the Yiddisher Arbeter Bund, the Jewish Labor Movement, was clandestinely founded in a Vilna basement (socialist movements being illegal under Tsarist rule).  In New York, Der Forverts, the world's largest-circulation and longest-running Yiddish newspaper, began publication.  Meanwhile, in Odessa, the Hebrew-language Ha-Shahar, the first and most influential Zionist journal, was founded under the initial editorship of Ahad Ha'am. And now, thanks to Blood Will Tell, an engaging and insightful new study by Sara Libby Robinson, Jewish historians may consider adding a surprising entry to this list of 1897 events that proved so repercussive in Jewish history: the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Relevant Links
Creatures of the Night  David Wolpe, Jewish Journal. Their day begins at sundown, they show a certain aversion to the sign of the cross, and they dress in black. Of course, I am talking about Jews.

While never explicitly identified as a Jew, the figure of Dracula—and vampires more generallyencompassed an array of anti-Semitic stereotypes: rootless, of East European origin, dark-complected, and lustful for the money and blood of others. Assessing a wide range of themes in which blood and vampirism were evoked in late-19th-century European "scientific" thought (Social Darwinism and criminology in particular), Robinson argues that Stoker's depiction of Dracula exploited widespread anxieties about the dangers posed by the flood (and the blood) of Yiddish-speaking immigrants to Great Britain.

Dracula's features are "stereotypically Jewish . . . [his] nose is hooked, he has bushy eyebrows, pointed ears, and sharp, ugly fingers."  As for his behavior, Robinson situates Dracula in the realm of fin-de-siècle national chauvinism, which viewed non-Anglo-Saxonsand Jews in particularas dangerous interlopers loyal only to their alien tribe.  "Like many immigrants, Dracula has made great efforts to acculturate himself to his new country and to blend in with the rest of the population, through studying its language and customs . . . [his] greatest concern is whether his mastery of English and his pronunciation would brand him as a foreigner."  Likewise, Stoker mines anxieties over Jewish dual loyalty.  "The one identified person whose aid Dracula enlists in escaping Britain is a German Jew named Hildesheim, 'a Hebrew of rather the Adelphi Theatre type, with a nose like a sheep,' who must be bribed in order to aid Stoker's heroes."

Robinson asserts that the purpose of her study is to widen the focus away from Dracula.  She calls attention, often brilliantly, to the frequent appearance of vampiric metaphors and blood-related anxieties beginning some two decades before Stoker's work appeared, up through the First World War.  She marshals evidence from dozens of German, French, and British authors (many now obscure) for allusions to perceived political and social threats evoking the fear of blood-letting and vampirism. Additionally, she casts a fine eye on some 30 illustrations culled from the satirical journals of the period, such as the German Kladderadatsch, the English Punch, and the American Puck and Harper's Weekly. Nevertheless, Dracula makes an appearance in every chapter, and is cited more often than any other single work of literature.  The only author who receives more attention than Stoker is Émile Zolafor good reason, given his work's sharply critical commentaries on the political and social trends of his day.

Robinson's approach to her sources is thematic and synthetic.  This is to say that she mines texts for their appropriation of blood and vampire metaphors, engaging neither in literary analysis of her sources nor in biographical studies of their authors. Robinson's wide range shows precisely how malleableand not infrequently contradictorythe accusation of vampirism had become by the early 20th century.  On the economic front, Jews were vilified as frequently for being capitalist blood-suckers as they were for being socialist and anarchist revolutionaries feeding on the social vitality of Old World Europe.  The mythology about Jews and blood was protean enough to fit the contours of the political, nationalist-racist, pseudo-scientific, and religious theories of the day.  In that last realm, medieval Christian mythology about Jews and blood was most infamously manifest in the notorious blood libel

The synthetic approach is mostly suited.  But its perils are nowhere more evident than in Robinson's references to Max Nordau, and his controversial work Degeneration, in the context of a discussion of Social Darwinist anti-Semitism.  Robinson oddly introduces Nordau as a "German intellectual," making him sound much more deracinated than the knowledgeable and committed Jew that he was.  Readers unfamiliar with the man called "Herzl's 'rabbi'" will almost certainly come away with the notion that Nordau was some German, anti-Semitic Social Darwinist.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Since his first, stirring address to the Zionist Congress in that momentous year 1897, Nordau was the most influential exponent of practical Zionism until his death in 1923.  Robinson never even alludes to Nordau's status as a founding father of Zionism, an omission rendered doubly bizarre given her subsequent extended treatment of the Zionist aim of strengthening the Jewish body.  Using Herzl's utopian novel Altneuland as her main source, she ignores Nordau's more salient classic essay, "Muskeljudentum" (Muscular Judaism).

Notwithstanding this certainly inadvertent distortion of Nordau's legacy, Robinson has written a provocative book that will heighten our awareness of the nefariousness of blood-metaphors. As is proper, she reserves her observations about the contemporary relevance of her research to a brief mention, in the book's conclusion, of recent depictions of Jews as vampires.  (Most chillingly, one cartoon casts former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon as "Sharoncula," about to sink his canine teeth into the neck of an innocent Arab girl.)

But too many discussions in this fine book eerily echo distressing recent news stories.  Most are all too obvious, as anyone following the demonized depiction of Jews in the Arab press well knows.  Late last month, UN High Commissioner for the Middle East Richard Falk posted on his website a vile cartoon of a rapacious Jewish dog.

Still, numerous themes examined by Robinson elicit more surprising analogies to events of our own day.  I will mention just one: Robinson's fascinating discussion of the link between blood libels and shohtim, Jewish ritual slaughterers. In the 1880's, under the influence of Darwinism, cruelty to animals became a major concern in liberal European circles, and laws were enacted to regulate animal slaughter.

These judicial acts coincided, in Konitz, Germany, with a notorious blood libel directed at two local shohtim, along with rhetoric characterizing Jews as bloodthirsty beasts. This resulted in widespread pressure to forbid any animal slaughter not preceded by electrical stunning. Robinson observes that:

In Germany especially, this campaign veered towards anti-Semitic slander.  According to some advocates of stunning, Jews supposedly took pleasure in their method of slaughtering, which strengthened their insensitivity and brutality. Propaganda depicted them as a "blood-drinking people," erroneously positing that Jews drank the blood of their slaughtered animals.

One hears a disturbing echo of this episode in Holland's introduction, two weeks ago, of legislation banning both Jewish and Islamic ritual slaughter.  The ostensible motive for this legislation is the "humanitarian" concern for animal rightsa "humanitarianism" greatly clarified by Robinson's study.  Just as blood is hidden from sight until the skin is pierced, the metaphors of blood and vampirism examined by Robinson all too often hide deep racial hatreds and fears, unpierced below the skin of polite public discourse.

Allan Nadler is a professor of religious studies and the director of the program in Jewish studies at Drew University.

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Sam Schulman on July 11, 2011 at 9:34 am (Reply)
"You Don't Have to be Jewish" department:
I don't know if this is in Robinson's book, but I learned recently from a wonderful book by the British anthropologist Juliette du Boulay on Greek Orthodox religion in the context of rural Greek village life one source of the vampire myth. The funeral custom (shaped partly by lack of arable land) is to bury the dead for 3-5 years, and then to disinter the remains and place bones willy-nilly into the church or family ossuary. When decomposition does occur after this (one gets a second chance), speculation ensues that brings Balkan memories into play (in du Boulay's account), and vampirism is feared. Hence stake through heart and other morbid features of the legend. The point is that explanations are sought for the behavior of the Loved One that involve all sorts of suspicions: great sins, violator of taboo, selling soul to devil - and certainly the notion that the dead was secretly a Jew or a member of some other unfavored group about whom there is a frisson of the uncanny might form one of these suspicions.
Might not Robinson be mistaking a familiar set stage and narrative convention of how a villain is represented (in the English/European tradition since forever) seized upon by Bram Stoker (who was the longtime stage manager for the great actor Henry Irving, whose depiction of Shylock was legendary)and overreading it as particularly anti-Semitic, ignoring the general rediscovery of folk legends and horror stories in 19th century Europe as a whole. The images cited seem to be of a generalized villain figure from 16th century drama - the Jew of Malta, the malevolent, machiavellian "Italian" figure like Iago, the devils in Marlowe and his predecessors, etc.
Elliott on July 11, 2011 at 10:39 am (Reply)
In an excerpt from a Dracula movie, probably a silent from the 1920s, I saw that Dracula wore around his neck something like a magen David. So you have a connection there. But the review does not indicate that Robinson investigated the Dracula movies.

Stoker's book, published in 1897 as Robinson says, came just a few years at most after Trilby, a novel and best-seller by George DuMaurier. This is not a vampire story but it does have some parallels. The villain is explicitly called a Jew. He is swarthy in contrast to the pure, white maiden whom he mesmerizes and takes psychological control over. He comes from Poland. Trilby requires a thorough study of its symbolism and themes.

Du Maurier was also an illustrator for Punch mentioned above by Nadler. Punch was Judeophobic as indicated above. In one period, a frequent target of contempt was a member of the Sassoon family. They were originally Jews from Baghdad who made a fortune in India and came to live in Britain. One of them [the father of Siegfried Sassoon??] was a very skillful athlete and joined the circle of the Prince of Wales. Sassoon's prowess at the sports that the British thought of as in their own domain provoked much resentment at Punch and among other British Judeophobes. Sassoon's swarthy skin color was certainly a source of resentment.
Rodney Falk on July 11, 2011 at 11:41 am (Reply)
If Dracula is Jewish and Orthodox, guess he would only be able to make the Maariv (evening) minyan.
Steve David on July 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm (Reply)
Actually, in his famous novel, Bram Stoker described Dracula's nose as "aquiline" (meaning a prominent bridge, giving the appearance of being curved or slightly bent), not "hooked." Furthermore, the fictional Dracula was supposedly inspired by the very non-Jewish Vlad the Impaler, a 15th Century Romanian warrior. So what's so "insightful" about Sara Libby Robinson's new study? To point out that anti-Semitism was rampant in Europe in the late 19th Century? Big deal. It had already been rampant in Europe for centuries and is rampant still today.

What's next for Ms. Robinson? Another insightful study suggesting that The Mummy of 1960s horror-film fame was a Jew because his contemporaries helped build the Pyramids?
Strunk & White on July 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm (Reply)
Love the first paragraph.
Madel on July 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm (Reply)
Nadler does an excellent job of bringing the salient points of Robinson's BLOOD WILL TELL to life and catching her miscue on Nordau. A picture drawn so well by him suggests he should turn his attention to the more critical Jewish themes in the new Gefen Publishing book HAAZINU (Listen Up) by Yerachmiel ben-Yishye, which I would rate as the most important discourse on issues of Jewish interest in years.
Sam Schulman on July 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm (Reply)
Steve David, there is a whole scholarly and popular literature already dedicated to the idea of the Jewish Mummy, so that's not a good career move for Robinson.
David on July 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm (Reply)
As I understand it, Dracula converted from Eastern Orthodox to Catholicism when he had to flee to Hungary. And, according to local legend, that would cause him to enter the world of the vampires. And, clearly Dracula is based on local legends of Vlad the Impaler. Vlad the Impaler is renowned for his ability as a warrior (Note: his charachter was discussed on Deadliest Warrior) who actually had battlefield successes agains the conqueror of Constantinople. Vlad is best known for impaling the defeated Ottoman warriors.

There is absolutely nothing to do with Jewish people in the Dracula legend and to suggest that Jews inspired the vampire legend is completely ridiculous.

You should pull this ridiculous column.
Ron Low on July 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm (Reply)
NO WONDER anti-semitism is seen everywhere; HERE we are seeing it where it doesn't exist! Because Dracula had features and traits which people who don't like Jews ascribe to Jews, his depiction is anti-semitic - EVEN THOUGH HE WASN'T JEWISH! ? ! ?

That is QUITE a stretch.
JK on July 12, 2011 at 2:52 am (Reply)
Something I've touched on in discussion but never had the intellectual environment to come to any conclusions other then general. I wish the author of this article was more probing and did a better job making sure he was coherent.

I'm sure the author can do a better job expressing himself and the content in the article. Reading it has even made me less able to express myself. Too jumbled.
David on July 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm (Reply)
When I reread the article, the author was referring to Robinson's analysis and not his own.

Nevertheless, there is no need to analyze Stoker or who he might have known that may have been an antisemite to discredit Robinson's analysis.

The idea that Dracula is supposed to be Jewish and was portrayed by Stoker as Jewish is absolutely ridiculous. Dracula is clearly based on a real Prince of Wallachia called Vlad Dracula who during the mid-1400s was also known as Vlad the Impaler (even his historical fans do not suggest he was a nice guy).

Nobody has really analzyed the issue of whether he was Jewish for one simple reason-he wasn't.
Elliott on July 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm (Reply)
In an excerpt from a Dracula movie, probably a silent from the 1920s, I saw that Dracula wore around his neck something like a magen David. So you have a connection there.

I am aware that Vlad Tepes, ruler of Wallachia, the historical model for Stoker's Dracula, was not Jewish. Nor does the novel call him Jewish as I recall from when I read it. My point is that in at least some of the Dracula films it was strongly hinted that he was Jewish. I think that having the Dracula character wear a Magen David proves my point. The movies were not trying to be objective histories but to excite and fascinate audiences. Thus they used all sorts of tricks, including that of playing on Judeophobic prejudices and notions that Jews were masters of magic, etc., in order to hold the audience.
Steve David on July 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm (Reply)
Look, Elliot, I've been a fan of the genre ever since Christopher Lee scared the peanuts out of my M&M's in "Horror of Dracula," the 1958 Hammer Films classic. Neither he, Max Schreck in Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi or the many other actors who've played Dracula in the dozens of movies throughout the ages wore a Magen David, spoke Yiddish, enjoyed a good piece of gefilte fish, put on tefillin or displayed any other indicators that Dracula was Jewish. Google Dracula Images and you won't find any, either.
I defy you to name the "at least some of the Dracula films where it was strongly hinted that he was Jewish."

Those who know me know that I am deeply sensitive to anti-Semitism. My wife was born and raised in Jerusalem and her father was a Holocaust survivor. But until I read this ridiculous article, I had never heard anything so absurd that Bram Stoker's classic story or the movies it inspired were infused with anti-Semitic imagery. I have no idea how Mr. Stoker felt about Jews in his personal life, but there is no basis in his great Gothic novel to draw a conclusion that he was anti-Semitic.
David on July 12, 2011 at 9:09 pm (Reply)
Elliot: I think you are imagining antisemitism that wasn't there.

Where is the Magen David in Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula? I don't see it.
dabakr on July 13, 2011 at 3:45 am (Reply)
humptybalderdash and Mullica Stew as well. Vlad the Impaler was no jew, though he probably impaled a few unlucky ones here and there. too much hinting of mass social stigmatism numbs not enlightens others to current rampant and illogical hatred of jews. i'm thinking this falls somewhere in between in terms of being constructive. sort of a joke, really. imho
aspacia on July 13, 2011 at 10:59 am (Reply)
I enjoyed Robinson's Dracula analysis. Many of the comparisons to Judeophobic beliefs do fit European Christian thought of this time period. If Robinson is an academic, this is the type of work most English professors engage in to publish rather than perish. Many of these types also dabble in Deconstruction, the language deconstructs itself, Feminist analysis regarding literature written long before Feminism, except they do have a point regarding Sappho.
Elliott on July 13, 2011 at 11:55 am (Reply)
Steve & David, I think the version that I'm referring to had Lon Chaney as Dracula.
Steve David on July 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm (Reply)
That's news to me, Elliot. The Internet Movie Database lists Lon Chaney's complete filmography, but none indicate that he was playing Dracula, or even playing a vampire, much less a Jewish one. See for yourself:

Maybe the point that you're trying to make is that over the centuries Jews have been demonized, vampires are demons, therefore vampires are Jews. But the fallacy of that syllogism is illustrated as follows: Corvettes have been painted red, Cadillacs have been painted red, therefore Corvettes are Cadillacs.

The logic isn't there, is it.
Steve David on July 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm (Reply)
Elliot, I'm providing a link i found to Bela Lugosi in the famous 1931 film version of Dracula. The image is a bit grainy, but with an active imagination you may view the medal around his neck as six-pointed. I suggest that the costumers for the film were most likely giving the "count" (as in Count Dracula) some badge of nobility, so if you want to make the mistaken claim in this single isolated instance that it was indeed a Magen David around his neck, rather than a simple, coincidental six-pointed medallion, then I submit to you it was meant as a compliment.
Elliott on July 14, 2011 at 11:11 am (Reply)
Steve, let's suppose you're right and it was Lugosi instead of Chaney. I don't think that putting that symbol around Dracula's neck was likely accidental. Anyhow, the film clip that I saw was not grainy.

BTW, my name is spelled with 2 [two] Ts, not one.
Steve David on July 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm (Reply)
Elliott, we have no way of knowing whether the shape of the necklace was deliberate or accidental, but here's the point:

1. The photo I sent you from the 1931 film is when we the audience first "meet" the Count in his castle at the beginning of the story. Other photos of Lugosi playing Dracula you can find on Google Images do not show him wearing this medallion. So it looks like it was restricted to a single scene in a single movie.

2. I am not aware of any other actor, and there have been dozens, ever wearing a six-pointed ornament in any other Dracula movie.

3. We can agree that not every six-pointed ornament or medallion is designed to be a Star of David, any more than the German Iron Cross, a military decoration awarded for bravery, would be worn by a priest as a symbol of his faith.

4. In Bram Stoker's novel which inspired the films, Dracula is never described as wearing even a six-pointed medallion, much less a Magen David or any other ornament associated with Judaism.
Halek on July 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm (Reply)
As Steve David pointed out, Dracula's nose is described as aquiline, which according to Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso
(coincidentally, Jewish) is associated with criminality. Antisemites have taken pains to distinguish the Roman or aquiline nose from the stereotypically 'Jewish' hooked, bulbous nose. Dracula is a warrior and nobleman, hardly a 19th c Jewish stereotype. Since the early 19th century Jews of literature have tended to be Old World aristocrats rooted (often literally) in their ancestral soil, again not very much in keeping with the image of rootless Jews who are strangers in Europe.

Have antisemites associated Jews with vampires, a symbol of parasitism? Of course. Antisemites have also associated Jews with the octopus, a symbol of conspiracy. That does not mean that the development of the vampire in popular culture was especially inspired or influenced by antisemitism, any more than the development of the octopus as a symbol of conspiracy was. Many other groups have been associated with vampires and octopi. Groups associated with vampires in cartoons, written propaganda, and other media include capitalists, communists, fascists, Jews, Germans, the French ...

A much stronger case than 'Jews = vampires in the popular imagination' is that the 19th and early 20th c the vampire was associated with young women as seducers, giving rise to 'vamp.' See Kipling's The Vampire and the silent movie A Fool There Was. Oh wait, Theda Bara was Jewish - antisemitism again!

WWII era cartoon of German military as vampire
Halek on July 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm (Reply)
Correction: I meant to write "Since the early 19th century vampires of literature...". (Now I'm doing it - conflating Jews and vampires that is.) Should have proofread that better.

Aside: Lon Chaney Jr. starred in 1943's Son Of Dracula. (And his character didn't seem Jewish at all.)
Elliott on July 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm (Reply)
Steve, let's take up your item # 4. So in Stoker's novel, Dracula is never described as wearing a "six pointed medallion" or brooch. So why did the moviemaker put it around his neck??
Steve David on July 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm (Reply)
Elliott, I've enjoyed our conversation and rest my case with one final comment. Click on the following link which is a fairly clear close-up of Lugosi playing Dracula. The medallion around his neck is also pictured clearly. Call it what you will, but it wouldn't pass for a Magen David even among the most virulent anti-Semites:
Steve David on July 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm (Reply)
Elliott, to answer your question I repeat myself: the costumers of the 1931 film were trying to give the Count a badge of nobility, so they put a medallion around his neck, which, as we have seen, could not be mistaken for a Star of David under any circumstances.

Stoker was writing a novel before there were motion pictures. He was not writing a screenplay. He was able to characterize Dracula in words; he did not use visual images. The plots and subplots of the book were far more complex than the movies it inspired, and evidently Stoker did not find it necessary to accessorize Dracula with necklaces for his reading public. Bela Lugosi wearing his ornament was how the film makers in the 1931 film version "imagined" what the literary character looked like.
David on July 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm (Reply)
He looks Eastern European and dark. Well Count Dracula and his legend both came from Eastern Europe. That was not a Jewish symbol on Dracula and absolutely could not be mistaken for a Jewish symbol.

This entire thesis that Dracula was supposed to be Jewish could be laughed at as absurd except for one thing. I think the idea that Dracula was supposed to be Jewish is the way that anti-Semites would like to spin it. Not even David Duke would have proposed such a ridiculous thesis and now we have a Jewish pub giving credence to this nonsense.
gander8 on July 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm (Reply)
Sherlock Holmes has the same "aquiline" description for his nose, reiterated many times by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Elliott on July 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm (Reply)
Steve, I see that one of my points may have been misunderstood. I agree that Stoker does not have Count Dracula wear anything like a magen David. I didn't say it either although maybe I was not clear enough. My view is that the moviemakers [or costumers, as you would have it] put a magen David around Dracula's neck, for whatever reason. Maybe they thought that the symbol was frighteningly exotic, like the count himself. My reaction when I saw that part of the film was being startled and irritated and somewhat upset.

There were in fact other novels in the fin de siecle, turn of the century period in which Jews are made out to be exotic, bearers of strange, occult magical powers, and thereby evil, etc etc. Other novels that did that were Trilby by DuMaurier; and 39 Steps, by John Buchan. And I think that somebody working on the Dracula movie was working in that same vein.

David, aquiline noses if they are thin are not considered Jewish. Further, Eastern Europeans are not typically dark at all. The Jewish villain in Trilby is dark, swarthy, but this trait is seen in the book as Jewish rather than eastern European. Moreover, in those days [ca. 1900] Jews were considered Oriental in northern Europe, that included Jews generally, and of course Ostjuden [Eastern European Jews].
Steve David on July 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm (Reply)
Elliott: First, as you saw from the link in my previous post, a close-up of the ornament you mistook for a Magen David in the 1931 film proves conclusively that it is no such thing. Second, even if it had been a Magen David (and it is not), it would prove . . . what? Not that Bram Stoker thought that his fictional character Dracula was Jewish, since we have already established that in his famous novel there is no mention of anything traditionally associated with Jews or Judaism. So if Bela Lugosi had been wearing a Magen David in the 1931 film (and dare I say for the umpteenth time that he wasn't), it would only prove that an obscure costumer in a single film among the dozens made over the decades about Dracula decided to dress him with this ornament. But since Lugosi wasn't wearing a Magen David in even that one film, and since Lugosi himself wasn't Jewish or "looked" Jewish (whatever that means), I'm not sure what point you're still trying to make. There is simply no reason to believe that anything about the Dracula legend as shown in the films was anti-Semitic. As one previous poster was wise to comment, there are so many genuine and dangerous sources of anti-Semitism we must contend with, why are we bothering to create it where it doesn't exist?

By the way, years ago I purchased the Dell paperback edition of the novel because the cover art looked like the character as Stoker described him, aquiline nose and all. And although the cover artist took some license and gave Dracula an oval amulet to wear, does that look like any Jew you ever met?
Billy Kravitz on September 9, 2011 at 2:31 am (Reply)
First of all, we have to get rid of the term 'anti-Semetic.' This gives Jew haters an easy out, allowing them to pin their perversions on 'racial' differences instead of religion. Use another term. Make them fess up. Then we must revive our spiritual voice. Most groups automatically look to Christians as custodians and purveyors of divine truths.....even many 'cultural' Jews. They see us as promoters of Yiddish culture rather than members of a moral, loving faith. It's sad, but comedians get an easy laugh just by making a Jewish reference. Bar mitzvah...they laugh....Bris...they laugh.....Any 'Jewish' name...they laugh. I don't know, sometimes I think we've Yiddished' ourselves into a corner, which is really baffling considering so few Jews actually speak it. This hurts us in the long run. The world sincerely believes that anyone can be a Christian, but only a Jew can be a Jew. It's time to universalize the message. If not now...when...If not us...who. Unless you like reinventing the wheel in every generation and attempting to find ways for a self-marginalizing group to 'fit in.'? I know I'm exaggerating a bit, but if any sect NEEDS an out-reach program, it's us. Wouldn't you like your kids to grow up in a culture where living a Jewish life was a familiar, accepted norm and not a mysterious, foreign, not-quite-'kosher' (they like THAT word) creed? And tell me, why do you think it CAN'T happen? .......BUT, if you want a good Jewish vampire, a thousand year old soul with the appearance of an eighteen year old Sephardic, Andalusian Jew (people say he resembles a young Antonio Banderas or maybe a more finely drawn Adrian Garnier (I think that's the guy from Entourage)then click on this it's an ongoing blog-opera (337 episodes and counting). and take a look at what he's up to.

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