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Jewish Crypsis – Wannabe Jews

The flip side of “conversion” – non-jews who want to be jews.

Jews make changes in order not to be noticed as jews, not to stop being jews. Wannabe jews are non-jews who actually want to change into jews. They believe this is possible based in part on their own misunderstanding of the nature of jewishness, and in part on jewish dishonesty about it.

Non-jews can’t really start being jews any more than jews can stop being jews. In both cases the same biological essence of jewishness stands in the way. At the same time we see that the ideological essence of identity is powerful in its own way.

Non-jews who hold jews in high esteem, with wannabe jews being an extreme example, can still serve the best interests of jews. Those so disposed are in a sense an extended phenotype of jews. While jews cultivate the worship of jews, ideologically speaking, and welcome the benefits the consequent sevice this provides them, they also firmly discourage and resist those who mistake it for an invitation to join them biologically.

Some jews, like Michael Freund and Stanley Hordes, espouse relatively inclusivist notions, but the reality is that jewishness is exclusivist. Jews stereotypically urge their children to marry other jews. “Intermarriage” with non-jews is deplored by those who don’t condemn it outright. Though jews are disdainful of tribemates who “convert”, or otherwise demonstrate disloyalty, their consensus is that nothing a jew says or does stops them from being a jew.

Focusing on jewish attitudes regarding Stanley Hordes and his “Hispanos” highlights, once again, that jewishness is about peoplehood, not relgion or beliefs.

Mistaken Identity? The Case of New Mexico’s “Hidden Jews”, by Barbara Ferry and Debbie Nathan, The Atlantic, Dec 2000:

To make a distinction that will later prove germane, [Hordes] is an Ashkenazi. Ashkenazic Jews trace their ancestry to Northern and Eastern Europe, whereas Sephardic Jews trace theirs to Iberia. Almost all Jews in North America today are Ashkenazim. Before the late nineteenth century the Jews in Latin America were overwhelmingly Sephardim.

He also began spending more and more time promoting his growing belief that Sephardic crypto-Judaism had survived four centuries of secrecy in the Southwest. The proposition, if true, was astonishing. And it held enormous appeal for Jews elsewhere in the United States, still grappling with the legacy of the Holocaust and eager for stories about Jewish survival against all odds.

The jews liked the idea, until they didn’t. As it became increasing clear that a number of very brown “crypto-jews” were eager to “rejoin” the tribe, the jewishness-as-religion-and-culture pretense gave way quickly to the jews-as-hereditary-biological-group reality.

EVEN as Hordes and the Sandovals were riding a wave of celebrity, an undercurrent of trouble was gathering force. The problems had started in 1992, when an Indiana University graduate student named Judith Neulander arrived in New Mexico with notebooks, cassette tapes, and hopes of pursuing her own research in crypto-Jewish studies.

Neulander wanted to be the first folklorist to dignify the claims with ethnographic research. As she derisively puts it now, she wanted to be “Queen of the Crypto-Jews.”

It wasn’t long before she ran across the work of the anthropologist Raphael Patai.

IN the 1940s Patai had visited Venta Prieta, a dusty town near Mexico City, where people have been calling themselves Jews at least since the 1930s. When Patai arrived, on the heels of World War II, the Venta Prietans actually had a synagogue. Their prayers sometimes included a few sentences in halting Hebrew. In the spring they celebrated Passover, with a seder and flatbread. With their short stature, black hair, and dark skin, the Venta Prietans were indistinguishable from the mestizo Catholic population that dominates Mexico. Yet they claimed descent from one of the country’s Inquisition-era Sephardic families, the Carvajals, and said that their religion was handed down over the centuries from them.

As Patai poked through Venta Prieta’s history, he accumulated persuasive evidence that its people were not descended from Jews at all. Instead they were the inheritors of what might be called crypto-Protestantism. In the early decades of this century, it seems, a fundamentalist splinter group called the Church of God Israelite left Mexico City to proselytize elsewhere; some settled in Venta Prieta. The group was a branch of the Church of God (Seventh Day) — a sect originally located in Iowa, and now headquartered in Colorado. As the name suggests, Church of God (Seventh Day) members observe the sabbath as Jews do, on the last day of the week — Saturday. They ignore Christmas and Easter, believing these holidays to be “pagan.” Branches in the Southwest celebrate their own versions of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth, along with Passover, which they mark with a ceremony that includes unleavened bread.

The doctrinal roots of the Church of God (Seventh Day) go back to the Reformation, to an obsession among some Protestants with the Second Coming and the Millennium. One scenario, which is repeated these days by many televangelists, has it that Jesus will not return to earth until all the world’s Jews are gathered together to welcome him back. If present-day Jews are uninterested in doing so, then perhaps they can be replaced by worthier ones, by Jews who accept Christ as the Messiah. These more promising Jews, in the view of some fundamentalist Protestants, disappeared with the ten lost tribes of Israel. Now they must be found, so that the Savior can return.

This logic has engendered a centuries-old preoccupation with identifying certain gentiles as long-lost Jews.

The long discourse on “Hebraic Protestantism” in the middle of the article comes across as an attempt to sow confusion, to disguise what’s really at the heart of all forms of crypto-jewishness – the centuries-old preoccupation jews have with their best interests as a people.

This still reflects the impact and influence jews have, even if only indirectly on the thinking of others.

Fifty years later, Neulander believes, the children and grandchildren of former members are recalling their elders’ Old Testament customs and misinterpreting their last words about being Jews. These recollections, Neulander says, have been skewed by Stanley Hordes and others who are ignorant of the Southwest’s true recent history. It is a history that includes both fundamentalist Protestants and other groups whose behavior could be wrongly construed as crypto-Judaism. Muslims, too, fled the Inquisition, settled in New Spain, eschewed pork, and ignored priests. Sephardic immigrants also came to Mexico and the Southwest from countries such as Morocco and Turkey, where they had practiced Judaism openly for centuries. Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe have been in Mexico and the Southwest for 150 years. They have intermarried with Latinos, and many have even embraced the Catholic Church. They might have kept dreidels in the house, but that is no sign of the Inquisition.

When asked about Neulander, society members often sneer, sometimes without having looked at any of her work. Even those who have done the reading find it easy to despise her. For when Neulander makes her arguments, she presents more than just dry scholarship on Protestantism. She also speculates about the reasons Hispanos might be inventing what she calls an “imaginary crypto-Jewish identity.”

Neulander thinks they are doing it because they are, in effect, racists. Colonial Spaniards were obsessed with proving they had “pure” blood, untainted by that of what they regarded as inferior peoples. The same has been true for many New Mexicans, and Neulander believes that the concern for purity — limpieza de sangre — is intensifying, now that Hispanos are being boxed in by Anglo newcomers and Mexican immigrants. As noted, Hispanos have always been loath to be called Mexicans. But that is how Anglos in the region have identified anyone who speaks Spanish. So, Neulander theorizes, some Hispanos are using crypto-Jewish identity as a postmodern marker for ethnic purity. What better way to be a noble Spaniard than to be Sephardic, since Sephardim almost never marry outside their own narrow ethnic group — and would certainly not intermarry with Native Americans? Neulander also comes at the racism issue from another, not quite compatible angle. She stresses that Protestant lost-tribes logic is deeply anti-Semitic. Below its Judeophilic veneer lies the belief that because they reject Jesus, most of today’s ethnic Jews will in fact go up in flames at the Apocalypse.

Such talk frightens and offends those who call themselves anusim. True, some of them are fixated on finding a noble Spanish past. But some from Hispano families are politically liberal, involved in civil-rights work, and proud of their mestizo complexions and ancestry. They are eager to stir into their Raza Cósmica mixture what they see as the ultimate outsider blood — that of Jews.

In typical jewish fashion, Neulander’s “thinking” inverts reality. Never mind the famous endogamy of crypto-jews – the mestizos are the real “racists” obsessed with purity. And those Protestant wannabe jews? Well, clearly they just hate jews.

“Thinking” like this is about transferring attention and blame elsewhere, to disguise jewish ethnic chauvinism.

Let’s shift our focus now from poor mestizo communities full of wannabe jews to some examples of more or less well-known and well-to-do individual wannabe jews in America.

What Attracted Madonna To Kabbalah?

Madonna was drawn to Kabbalah while she was pregnant in the mid-’90s, and the [Kabbalah Centre] group acknowledges that it wouldn’t have taken off with celebrities if she hadn’t jumped on the trend.

In Can There Be Judaism Without Belief In God? Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, explains:

I’m a Jew by choice—I converted 50 years ago, and I’m even more satisfied with that choice now than I was a half-century ago. That’s partly because being Jewish is mostly not about beliefs, but about connections with other people, sharing values and a collective destiny.

Kol Nidre Helped a Convert Find a Sense of Belonging in the Jewish Community, by Annette Gendler, Tablet Magazine, 12 Sep 2013:

When the cantor sang those first few notes—a sliver of sobbing laced between the high and low notes, invoking centuries of Jewish pleading with God—what had been just another prayer somehow got under my skin and became an experience. There I was, in the sanctuary that is never as full as it is on Yom Kippur, amid all these people wrapped in prayer shawls, all of us standing and listening to the cantor repeating Kol Nidre three times, each time a little louder. As I alternatively looked down at my prayer book and surveyed the crowd, I felt a shiver crawling up my arms, and I thought to myself, “This is what it means to belong to something larger than yourself.”

Luke Ford – most hated Jewish blogger – interviews me, 7 Mar 2010:

Luke Ford is probably the most hated Jewish Blogger, he told me that he has been banned from almost every shul in LA and receives death threats when he walks down the street. Along with the fact that he was called the Matt Drudge of the porn industry, made me kind of excited to be interviewed by him.

Is Luke Ford good for the Jews?, by Brad A. Greenberg, Jewish Journal, 2 Aug 2007:

He is an LA blogger who writes about kinky porn, Orthodox Judaism and sinful politicians. But Luke is a contentious figure in the Jewish community, of which he is a convert into, and is both loved and loathed by people in the porn industry.

This is the only shul that’s let him continue davening there after discovering the depraved world within which he works. Judaism is not about a personal relationship with God, and without an accepting community there is no religious observance. For a convert like Ford, there is no Jewish identity absent Judaism.

“Orthodox Judaism in general, not just going to shul, gives me much needed structure,” Ford says after the service ended. “I have no core. I’m way too flexible on the things I do. This gives me some structure, and it’s important for me to bounce off the same people everyday…. It gives my life meaning, it gives my life rhythm, it gives my day a beginning and end. And it reminds me that there is a God.”

A recent blog post by Ford notes the difference between universalist and particularist morality and the tribal/racial nature of jewishness. Life In A Tribe, 15 Sep 2013:

Growing up a Seventh-Day Adventist among other WASPs, it never occurred to me that it was OK to cheat, steal, abuse outsiders. Sure, some Adventists did it, but there was no widespread belief that such cheating of outsiders and the government was ok. Rather, there was the belief that what belongs to Caesar belongs to Caesar. In Adventism, as I recollect, there was no different moral code for treating those inside and outside the group. I never heard from anyone that it was religiously OK to cheat the government with taxes, etc.

I’ve learned over the past 20 years, however, that the tribal approach to life is different. When you practice Orthodox Judaism, for instance, that tends to limit your social interactions with non-Jews and can easily spill over to dismissing them. The tribal racial approach to life emphasizes your group over outsiders.

Luke Ford Returns To Aish HaTorah (Orthodox Judaism Los Angeles), 10 Jan 2011. OY! So wannabe it hurts. OY!

Wannabe jews see the advantages of jewish collectivism and are attracted to it, hoping to participate. The real jews, for their part, prefer servants over “converts”.

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Jewish Crypsis – Crypto-Jews – Part 2

MARANO, JewishEncyclopedia.com:

Crypto-Jews of the Iberian Peninsula. The term, which is frequently derived from the New Testament phrase “maran atha” (“our Lord hath come”), denotes in Spanish “damned,” “accursed,” “banned”; also “hog,” and in Portuguese it is used as an opprobrious epithet of the Jews because they do not eat pork. The name was applied to the Spanish Jews who, through compulsion or for form’s sake, became converted to Christianity in consequence of the cruel persecutions of 1391 and of Vicente Ferrer’s missionary sermons. These “conversos” (converts), as they were called in Spain, or “Christãos Novos” (Neo-Christians) in Portugal, or “Chuetas” in the Balearic Isles, or “Anusim” (constrained) in Hebrew, numbered more than 100,000. With them the history of the Pyrenean Peninsula, and indirectly that of the Jews also, enters upon a new phase; for they were the immediate cause both of the introduction of the Inquisition into Spain and of the expulsion of the Jews from that country. The wealthy Maranos, who engaged extensively in commerce, industries, and agriculture, intermarried with families of the old nobility; impoverished counts and marquises unhesitatingly wedded wealthy Jewesses; and it also happened that counts or nobles of the blood royal became infatuated with handsome Jewish girls. Beginning with the second generation, the Neo-Christians usually intermarried with women of their own sect. They became very influential through their wealth and intelligence, and were called to important positions at the palace, in government circles, and in the Cortes; they practised medicine and law and taught at the universities; while their children frequently achieved high ecclesiastical honors.

The article describes the widespread dispersal of the jews expelled from Spain, mainly to Turkey (Ottoman empire) and Netherlands (Flanders).

Xueta, Wikipedia:

The Xuetes (Catalan pronunciation: [ʃuˈətə]; singular Xueta, also known as Xuetons), were a social group on the island of Majorca, descendants of Majorcan Jews who either converted to Christianity or were forced to keep their religion hidden. They practiced strict endogamy.

The assault on the calls — the Majorcan Jewish ghettoes — in 1391, the preaching of Vincent Ferrer in 1413, and the conversion of the remainder of the Jewish community of Majorca, in 1435, constituted the three events that gave rise to the social phenomenon of the conversos, which, unlike the individual conversions that had preceded them, were not based on individual religious conviction but on the necessity of overcoming a collective peril.

Crypto Jews, Am I Jewish?:

One interesting example is the “Belmonte Jews” in Portugal. A whole community survived in secrecy for hundreds of years by maintaining a tradition of intermarriage and by hiding all the external signs of their faith. The Jewish community in Belmonte goes back to the 12th century and they were only discovered in the 20th century.

Many of the immigrants from Portugal were secondary immigrants from the Jewish Expulsion in Spain of 1492. However, a later similar decree was also issued in Portugal in 1497 effectively converted all Jewish children, making them wards of the state unless the parents also converted. Therefore, many of the early crypto-Jewish migrants to Mexico in the early colonial days were technically first to second generation Portuguese with Spanish roots before that. The number of such Portuguese migrants was significant enough that the label of “Portuguese” became synonymous with “Jewish” throughout the Spanish colonies.

So many perceived crypto-Jews were going to Mexico during the 1500s that officials complained in written documents to Spain that Spanish society in Mexico would become significantly Jewish. Officials found and condemned clandestine synagogues in Mexico City.

The Association of Crypto-Jews – Hispanic Sephardi Crypto Jews.

Two jews, Michael Freund and Stanley Hordes, wish to discover and reintegrate crypto-jews with the main body of jews. The main body of jews do not.

With children under chuppah, Ynetnews, 7 Aug 2013:

Ariel and Gila Arditi have been waiting for this moment for a very long time: Years of expectations to receive the special approval that they have completed their conversion process and can get married according to Jewish Law; several years of fighting for Israeli recognition as conversion seekers, while their children already live in Israel as Jews; and decades of leading a double life: Colombian Jews who know they have Jewish roots and observe various customs on different dates.

The Arditi couple knew they were the descendants of the Anousim from Spain, who were forced to convert to Catholicism in the 14th and 15th centuries by the Inquisition. Their ancestors continued to observe mitzvot secretly, despite the persecution and torture.

“She knew she wasn’t Jewish according to Jewish Law, but that her roots are Jewish. When her parents retired, they came to Israel immediately – when it was clear to them that they didn’t have any other place to live, or any other life, other than living as religious Jews.”

According to Birenbaum, the trouble began when they tried to covert. “They didn’t receive a visa, and their request to convert was denied. The State of Israel asked them to leave – and they didn’t want to.

[Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund adds,] “Their ancestors were taken from us, they were kidnapped from us, against their will. And nonetheless, despite all the persecution – they continued to preserve their Jewish identity and pass it down from one generation to the next. Now, when they wake up 500 years later and known on our national door, how can we possibly slam it in their faces?”

More about Michael Freund, AKA Columbus of hidden Jews, Ynetnews, 25 Jan 2011:

He wanders Amazon jungles, travels to Chinese villages, searches Spain for Marranos, and sees India’s Bnei Menashe as his life’s mission. Michael Freund has an obsession: Discovering remote Jews

In a remote village in the Amazon, you find Jews.

Freund, an American immigrant, has a mission: Locating remote and hidden Jews and descendants of the Jewish people.

He devotes all his efforts and resources to this project as founder and director of the Shavei Israel organization, which works to strengthen the connection between descendants of Jews and Israel and the Jewish people.

According to assessments, he has put his own money into the project while raising large sums in donations from others. His organization is active in many countries throughout the world and helps different communities: From the descendants of Bnei Anousim (whom historians refer to as Marranos) in Spain, Portugal and South America, to remote communities in places such as China.

“It’s a type of fixation that doesn’t let me rest,” said Freund. “I feel obligated to these communities forgotten by history, but they haven’t forgotten us.

By all accounts, there are millions of Marranos throughout the world. “They are descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who converted under duress, many of whom continued to practice Jewish customs in secret despite the persecution they faced at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition,” he said and added, “The Marranos are a living and breathing phenomenon, but the Jewish world largely ignores them.”

The last time Freund succeeded in obtaining permission to bring a group to Israel was in 2007, when 230 Bnei Menashe from the Indian state of Manipur made aliyah. Since then, the aliyah has stopped.

Freund is a gentle person. He doesn’t get angry. He doesn’t raise his voice. But he is frustrated. “I simply do not understand why these wonderful people are stuck and forced to wait years before being allowed to fulfill their dreams. This is a big mistake. The Bnei Menashe want to be here and deserve to be here,” he says.

Some claim that they want to come to Israel to improve their financial situation.

“If this was the case, then one would expect a certain percentage of them to leave Israel and move to the West, but they’ve all remained here. After they get here hardly any of them remove their kippah. They are very religious and committed Zionists. We’ve conducted a comprehensive study of the Bnei Menashe immigrants and found that only 5% of the community is supported by welfare. The rest of them work for a living.”

Are you sure that all these groups you deal with are really of Jewish descent?

“We have to be careful because it’s easy to get carried away and to start seeing Jews everywhere. So I’m always skeptic as first. Two years ago I received a letter from a group of Native Americans in the United States, who claimed that they were of Jewish descent. They sent me various materials, and I understood fairly quickly that their claim was without any basis.

What motivates you?

“I see it as my mission in life. There are people who travel great distances to look for spectacular views. I go to look for Jews. We are a small nation and we don’t have all that many friends out there. So we should be reaching out to descendants of the Jewish people to cultivate a stronger connection with them. Two years ago a genetic study was carried out in Spain and Portugal which found that 20% of the male population of Iberia has Jewish genetic material. Because of all the persecution we have endured throughout the centuries, the Jewish nation was scattered to the four corners of the earth. So it isn’t surprising that there are traces and remnants of Jews in all sorts of remote places.

A Jewish Telegraphic Agency interview with Stanley Hordes, So you think you’re a Crypto-Jew?, Amy Klein, 18 May 2009:

JTA: Can a last name help someone tell if they have Jewish blood?

HORDES: There’s quite a bit of confusion over this question — some people think that names ending in “es” or “ez” are uniquely Jewish. The “es” suffix simply means “son of.” But put yourself in the position of someone in 1492 who has made the gut-wrenching decision to stay in Spain and convert to Catholicism. Now if your name was Avraham Ben Moshe, and you’re trying to quickly assimilate into Old Christian society, the first thing you’d do is get rid of that name. You’d likely take a name like the Old Christians have, such as Gonzalez or García — or de la Cruz, de Jesus or Santa Maria. There’s only a very small number of cases where a name is uniquely Jewish. I’ve heard so many stories about the name Rael coming from “Israel.” Every Rael I’ve ever found in New Mexico goes back to one Jewish family in southeastern Spain that had converted to Judaism in the 1480s. But you have to be careful about names. There’s no other way of ascertaining proof of ancestry except by playing the “who begat whom” game, or conducting extensive archival research through the genealogical records.

JTA: What about DNA?

HORDES: DNA testing potentially can tell us an awful lot. But we’re at only an early stage of this kind of research, and at this point the commercial testing companies can only tell who your mothers’ mother’s mother’s mother is or your father’s father’s father’s father — all the way back. They can’t tell you anything about your mother’s father’s family or any of the other thousands of ancestors. But culture is not passed down through genes — it’s interesting, but it does not define who you are. A lot of us are more interested in cultural traits and Jewish consciousness, including the extent to which descendants of Crypto-Jews tended to marry within the group. The genetic and genealogical research supplies us with a historical plausibility of suggestive Crypto-Jewish practices that may have been passed down. All of these avenues of research complement each other.

JTA: Some think this whole issue is untrue, like folklorist Judith Neulander, who thinks Hispanos might be inventing an “imaginary Crypto-Jewish identity,” according to the December 2000 Atlantic Monthly article “Mistaken Identity: The Case of New Mexico’s Hidden Jews.”

HORDES: Anthropologist Seth D. Kunin addresses these issues in his recently released “Juggling Identities: Identity and Authenticity Among the Crypto-Jews,” (Columbia University Press). We know that thousands of Crypto-Jews on the Iberian Penisula converted to Catholicism,but secretly held to their ancestral Jewish faith and customs. Some believe that people are inventing a past that they never had in order to deny their black or Indian family background — to climb the social ladder by showing how “white” they are. But there are so many more conventional ways to assert whiteness, why would you want to be Jewish when being different is not valued in that community?

Mistaken Identity? The Case of New Mexico’s “Hidden Jews”, by Barbara Ferry and Debbie Nathan, The Atlantic, Dec 2000:

THE telling has become almost stylized through repetition. In the mid-1980s a number of people with Spanish surnames began stealing into an office in Santa Fe, peering over their shoulders, shutting the door behind them, and whispering that their neighbors were engaging in strange customs that were decidedly out of place in the region’s overwhelmingly Catholic culture. Soon those reports would lead to proud testimonials from southwesterners of Iberian descent claiming kinship with Jewish victims of the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal. And not just genetic descent: some of these people would say that though outwardly they were raised as Christians, their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were secretly observant Jews. Such stories are now so common in the Southwest that almost everyone takes them at face value.

The phenomenon’s first elaborations can be traced to Stanley Hordes, who in the early 1980s was New Mexico’s state historian.

Twenty years ago he was thirty-one and had just defended his doctoral dissertation, which was written at Tulane University, in New Orleans, and dealt with the Jews of colonial Mexico. More specifically, it dealt with what are known as the crypto-Jews — a people whose ranks swelled in 1492, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain ordered all Jews to convert to Christianity or be banished from the kingdom. Up to 50,000 of Spain’s 125,000 to 200,000 Jews were baptized, joining 225,000 descendants of the converts of previous generations. The others would not give up their religion. Some fled to North Africa, Italy, and Navarre (then a kingdom on the border between Spain and France). Many more went to Portugal, though Portugal itself would soon demand conversion, and thousands of Jews there also underwent baptism. In both Spain and Portugal many conversos sincerely embraced the Church and intermarried with so-called Old Christians. A smaller number, however, continued secretly in their old beliefs, under cover of Catholicism. These were the crypto-Jews.

To make a distinction that will later prove germane, he is an Ashkenazi. Ashkenazic Jews trace their ancestry to Northern and Eastern Europe, whereas Sephardic Jews trace theirs to Iberia. Almost all Jews in North America today are Ashkenazim. Before the late nineteenth century the Jews in Latin America were overwhelmingly Sephardim. Throughout the Diaspora, Sephardic Jews have eaten food made with olive oil, chickpeas, and other Mediterranean ingredients; Ashkenazic foods such as bagels, lox, kugel, and borscht are not traditionally part of their diet. Yiddish, with its German and Slavic components, has nothing to do with Sephardic Ladino, which mixes Hebrew with medieval Spanish, Turkish, and Moroccan. Today Sephardic Jews make up only 10 percent of the Jewish population worldwide.

BY the early 1990s Latinos by the dozens from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona were coming forward with tales of a Jewish past. At conferences and in Internet forums they recalled playing with toys resembling dreidels (the four-sided tops associated with Hanukkah) as children. They reported that their parents had baked a flat, unleavened bread in the spring. They remembered mothers and grandmothers calling out on their deathbeds, “Children, we are really Israelites.”

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