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. Â The most important similarity is that Scots and Jews alike are un(fairly) stereotyped as cheap. Â The second is…well, I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, but trust me on this one. Â Jews and Scots are pretty much the same. And Scottish Jews. Â I don’t even want to get into that.
Ok, I will. Â Let me drop a name at you. Lord George Gordon. Â The baddest mamajamma Jewish convert born to Scottish nobility ever. And I quote,
In 1787, at the age of 36, Lord George GordonÂ convertedÂ to Judaism inÂ Birmingham, circumcised at the synagogue in Severn Street now next door to Singers Hill Synagogue. He took the name ofÂ Yisrael bar Avraham GordonÂ (“Israel son ofÂ Abraham” Gordonâ€”since Judaism regards a convert as the spiritual “son” of the Biblical Abraham) and underwentÂ brit milah(“circumcision”). Gordon thus became what Judaism regards as, and Jews call, aÂ “Ger Tsedek”â€”a righteous convert.
While in jail, Gordon lived the life of anÂ OrthodoxÂ Jew, and he adjusted his prison life to his circumstances. He put on hisÂ tzitzitÂ andÂ tefillinÂ daily. He fasted when theÂ halakhaÂ (Jewish law) prescribed it, and likewise celebrated theÂ Jewish holidays. He had kosher meat and wine, andÂ Shabbatchallos. The prison authorities permitted him to have aÂ minyanÂ on Shabbat and to affix aÂ mezuzaÂ to his room. TheÂ Ten CommandmentsÂ were also hung on his wall for Shabbat to transform the room into aÂ synagogue.
Then, there’s Scotland and Israel, Â They’re both really small countries of about 5 million people, they both have fought forÂ 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. Â 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?