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Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and opening of the Iron curtain with many citizens of the former USSR having migrated to western Countries, we have more people in the United States stating their ” Jewish” than ever before.
But not all of the former citizens of the USSR know exactly what it means to be Jewish, nor how to behave, what the traditions are; but it’s a must, otherwise one ends up looking foolish, with folks on the inside assuming some may just say they’re Jewish to to’ve been granted a legal residency, having come here under the pretense of escaping Religious prejudice and such.
Well, here are some shoe-in tips so everyone can look authentically Jewish.
First of, do as most of the former citizens of the USSR, who’ve come to this country under the pretense of being jewish, and adhere to Russian and Polish ” Jenish” ( also Jenisch or Yeniche) traditions. Jenisch folks are people belonging to a clan of French and Swiss travelers, who’d been expelled from Switzerland in the mid 18 hundreds, after recurring run-ins with the law, and were given fertile land in the Polish Region of Lubavitch, as well as fertile land in Russia, to learn to support themselves by farming, living off their own land, instead of begging or engaging in criminal activities.
Poland and Russia had the most uninhabited fertile land, thus the Juden ( Judicial system/Judges) gave the land to the Jenisch, along with life stock, teaching them how to farm, where they could continue living according to their traditions, which was a far more humane way of punishment than incarcerating folks, since they could continue to live a free life along with their families. Due to the German-Swiss dialect they spoke, they called the communities they built on these farmlands ” Shtetl “. ( a Swiss word for small town )
Thus when asked where one’s parents lived, just say :” They lived in a Shtetl”.
When becoming an American Citizen one can choose a new name for oneself, thus it goes without saying that best one picks a Hebrew first name from the Bible, or Torah, which always gives the impression of authenticity. As a surname it’s not a bad idea to choose a German Huguenot name, like Rosenbaum, Apfelbaum, Tannenbaum, etc.
Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish names, which are often names of German towns, are also quite believable, like Koblenz, Munich, etc.
However, original Bergitka names are currently the most popular. The Bergitka are people belonging to a clan of travelers from Poland. Their names usually end with Berg, which can cause some confusion with Scandinavian Dutch names, which also end with Berg, but hardly anyone will notice the difference, thus it’s safe to pick either a Scandinavian-Dutch, or Bergitka name. Aside from that, most Bergitka have long moved into cities or other countries in western Europe, the U.S., Canada, etc. with modern day Bergitka consisting mostly of Roma having settled in the mountains of Poland.
One of the most important things to remember, though, is that unlike the children of Judaic people from traditional Judaic families having had to attend Latin school, children of Jewish people, attend Hebrew School since the early/mid 20th century
Never forget, however, to follow the Viking tradition of giving yourself the name of your father as a separate name. Vikings, unlike other tribes, weren’t craftsmen who’d end up with surnames denoting their craft ( Smith, Schuster, etc. ), they were plunderers, see raiders, pirates, thus only known as Son of Sven, or daughter of Sven. As is the tradition of Icelanders and many other Scandinavians to this day.
Example, Jørgen Svenson ( Jørgen son of Sven ) Or Meike Svendotter ( Meike daughter of Sven). Thus to make believe one is authentically Jewish, best to give oneself a Viking name, BUT in Hebrew, which serves as one’s ” Hebrew name”. Nathan ben Abraham, ( Nathan son of Abraham, for example.
For the citizens of the former USSR stating they’re Iranian Jewish people; to really come across as “authentic” it’s good to know that the ” Jury” of Iran – those having worked in the ” Judicial System” under the Shah of Persia; called the Kalimi ( Judges) did not wear Tzitzit, and did not adhere to Eastern European Jenisch traditions. ( Nor Sobbotniki traditions )
They did not come to the United States, nor other western countries, to escape “Religious” prosecution, rather left because the Shah was taken out of power;trying to escape the new Religious Muslim uprising, with the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini coming after the Judges who’d worked under the Shah of Persia, as it often happens when new rulers replace a former ruler, going after the Judges – previously called ” Juden”, from the latin word ” Iudex”, which means Judge.
I hope these few tips are of help to make everyone appear authentically Jewish. And don’t worry, the Zhu ( pronounced Joo ), a tribe from ancient Chan’aan, a region in modern day China, will not be confused with the word Jew, since the Zhu have been extinct for about a thousand years. Aside from that the Chinese word Zhu means pig, and that ain’t kosher.
For any more questions as to what’s best to know when deciding to become Jewish, any cultural Ethnologist will do, and i’m sure they’ll be happy to help you out. You could also contact the FBI, or CIA who have ethnologists at hand, or call the department of Homeland security and surely they’ll guide you into the right direction.
Here in the United States we can be whatever we want to be. In fact, the next generation can say they’re half Cherokee. And the one after that can say their forefathers came from the Mayflower. And at some point ye just call yourself an
” American”, and take part in all the fun. 😉
Isn’t America great ?