Jews are known for many things, which means most people are believing incredible myths about them. From the “strange” idea of Jews being people with horns who run America, even the world, to the belief they have sexy time underneath a sheet, there are many crazy myths surrounding Jews.
Most of them are simply ridiculous ideas, like the ones above, yet there are also some myths that are very plausible. With lots of Jews in Hollywood and American big cities, these myths turned into real “legends”, that only Jews can understand.
That is until now – I managed to gather my courage and asked my Jewish friend the truth about these common myths. She told me everything I wanted to know and I am now sharing these with you. However, I am not sure we are still friends…
1.Jews can get tattooes
This is probably the most common myth you can hear about Jews. It comes from the phrase in the Leviticus, which says Jews shall not carve any signs on them. This phrase is already controversial, as many Jews believe it to refer to idols, not regular tattoos. However, there is no religious law that prohibits Jews from being buried in Jewish cemeteries if they are tattooed. Most Jews simply tell this to their kids to prevent them from getting tattoos. But, there are cemetery administrators who impose strange rules, so this myth might come from someone who simply denied a Jew’s’ right to be buried in the cemetery due to being tattooed.
2. Hanukkah is not the most important Jewish holiday
Hanukkah is not the biggest Jewish holiday – in fact, it’s not even mentioned in the Holy Books. Hanukkah is the celebration of the victory over the Syrians, when the lamp oil lasted longer than everyone expected, giving the Jews a big advantage. Rabbis were the ones to come up with Hanukkah and since then, it became the most notorious celebration of the Jews. The fact people exchange gifts for Hanukkah, which resembles the habit of exchanging gifts for Christmas, contributed to the notoriety of this holiday. When it comes to important holidays, there are Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot and the Passover, all of them mentioned in the Holy Books of Jews.
3. Food is kosher depending how you cook it
There is a belief rabbis bless the food to make it kosher – this is simply a myth! There is no magic blessing that can make food kosher. The actual ingredients and the way you cook the food is what makes it kosher or not. The only role of the rabbi is to make sure these rules are followed and you are not adding anything non-kosher to the pot. Speaking of the pot, you can’t make kosher food in pots used to make regular food.
4. Jews focus on the life they live on earth
Opposed to Christians, Jews don’t focus on the eternal life: they focus on the life they are living on the earth. They also have a version of Hell, but for Jews, the time spent in this damnation place is much shorter: one can only stay 12 months in the Hell. Of course, this makes the afterlife a lot easier, compared to that of a Christian.
5. Jewish parents are flexible when it comes to shiksas
This one is half true: Jewish moms and dads always hope their son is going to marry that nice girl they introduced to him at the temple. But this doesn’t mean that shiksas are not going to marry any Jewish boy anytime soon. Just like conservative Catholic parents are not happy when their kids bring to dinner their Jewish dates, Jewish parents are first reluctant to shiksas. But then everyone finds a way to have a good time, as long as the girl is not going to force her new family to eat pork.
6. Torah readings are not daily
There are Jews who read from Torah daily, but many Jews stick to weekly readings. However, most Jewish families do the readings when they all gather around, which is mainly at big holidays. In the end, the frequency of the readings depend on how conservative the family is.
7. Jews do eat bacon
Yes, technically Jews are not allowed to eat pork, so bacon is also banned. But you can still be Jewish and eat bacon, if you want to. This is what makes Jews so awesome!
These are some of the most important parts of the life of a Jew, which had been widely discussed by many non-Jews, thus the wide array of myths created around them. Now that you know the truth, you can have fun with your Jewish friends, without believing they are strange creatures who run around speaking in an ancient language, while celebrating Hanukkah with kosher food.
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