Matthew Yglesias discusses the unlikely politicians who up and turn out to be Jewish, along with the individuals with off-the-charts Jewish-sounding names who turn out not to be. Of course what this all comes down to is, who is a Jew? By one part of the definition–outside perception–anyone named Abraham is kinda Jewish no matter how he sees himself or what his ancestors were. This is not up to God, gods, or any other higher powers you might prefer– if the world sees you as Jewish, it has a certain impact on how you see yourself, and thus what you are. The matrilineal definition is by no means sufficient on identity, cultural, and other non-religious bases for figuring out such matters. People who learn that my last name is Maltz, that I come from New York, and that I don’t look especially Nordic may classify me as Jewish without verifying–and I’m not even sure how this could be verified–that my mother fits the bill.