}

This is a post about Scotland. Why? Because, Jews.

 

This is the official Jewish tartan. I wish I were kidding. 

 

Hi, everyone.  Long time, no talk. You might remember me from such seminal posts as that time I hated my Hebrew name and wondered whether Ikea was pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian.

I’ve been gone a while, but now I’m back!

You, intrepid reader, may ask, “Oh, Vicki, wherever have you been?”

And I’ll answer, “Scotland.”

And you’ll say, “The hell?”

And I’ll say, “Yes, and I’ve written a book about it!”

And you’ll say, “Why should I as a Jew care about Scotland?”

And I’ll say, because Scotland and Israel are practically the same country and the Scots and the Jews are practically the same people.  The most important similarity is that Scots and Jews alike are un(fairly) stereotyped as cheap.  The second is…well, I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, but trust me on this one.  Jews and Scots are pretty much the same. And Scottish Jews.  I don’t even want to get into that.

Ok, I will.  Let me drop a name at you. Lord George Gordon.  The baddest mamajamma Jewish convert born to Scottish nobility ever. And I quote,

In 1787, at the age of 36, Lord George Gordon converted to Judaism in Birmingham, circumcised at the synagogue in Severn Street now next door to Singers Hill Synagogue. He took the name of Yisrael bar Avraham Gordon (“Israel son of Abraham” Gordon—since Judaism regards a convert as the spiritual “son” of the Biblical Abraham) and underwent brit milah(“circumcision”). Gordon thus became what Judaism regards as, and Jews call, a “Ger Tsedek”—a righteous convert.

While in jail, Gordon lived the life of an Orthodox Jew, and he adjusted his prison life to his circumstances. He put on his tzitzit and tefillin daily. He fasted when the halakha (Jewish law) prescribed it, and likewise celebrated the Jewish holidays. He had kosher meat and wine, and Shabbatchallos. The prison authorities permitted him to have a minyan on Shabbat and to affix a mezuza to his room. The Ten Commandments were also hung on his wall for Shabbat to transform the room into a synagogue.

Then, there’s Scotland and Israel,  They’re both really small countries of about 5 million people, they both have fought for independence, they’re both in the process of resurrecting an ancient dead language (some are further along than others *cough*) and each country’s flag is blue and white. I could go on and on.  And I actually do. But I’ll spare you the deets in this blog post.

If you’re interested in Jewish life in Scotland, as well as this particular Jew’s travels, I suggest you check it out.

P.s. Did I tell you your hair looks beautiful today?

8 Comments

  1. ck

    4/21/2012 at 2:49 pm

    Wait, why was Lord George Gordon in jail to begin with?? I wanna read that book Vicki! Welcome back…

  2. Buggin' Dovid

    4/21/2012 at 3:09 pm

    Initially he was in jail for defaming Marie Antoinette. Then having served his sentence he insisted on using two Jews as guarantors. The court didn’t accept them because they were Jewish so back to jail he went. Lord George Gordon was all kinds of weird. He was a UK member of Parliament and supported American independence. He opposed Catholic emancipation (affording Catholics political rights) and helped start the anti-Catholic “Gordon riots” for which he was also imprisoned but later released. Some Jews saw him as a quasi messianic Moses-like figure and while in jail, he agreed to see non-Jewish visitors, but if a visitor was Jewish he would only see him if he was frum. Vicki should write a book about him… Can we get an excerpt of the Scotland book?

  3. vicki

    4/24/2012 at 6:58 am

    Dovid, the first chapter is up on Amazon preview

    I agree that someone should make a movie about Lord George Gordon. http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Something-about-Scotland-ebook/dp/B007TQ8370

  4. Mack AB

    4/25/2012 at 5:58 am

    Just read the excerpt and now I want to read it all. BUT I DON’T HAVE A KINDLE! I’d read a book about puddles if it was written by Vicki.

  5. danny bloom

    5/3/2012 at 11:41 am

    Ouch, Vicki, first you belittle gefilte fish as one of the world’s worst foods and then here …..”The most important similarity is that Scots and Jews alike are un(fairly) stereotyped as cheap” ……so if it is unfair to mention that stereotype, why even bring it up? again, you seem like a self-hating Jewish woman? But it can’t be. So why do you write with some of these self-hating cultural traits? DISH if you can explain. danbloom AT gmail DOT com

  6. Zoe Molteno Storrar

    5/30/2016 at 4:15 am

    I love it..ancestral scot judeophile

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