Your Wednesday Culture Fix

By Sarah Breger

MILLIONS OF CATHOLICS ARE OF JEWISH ANCESTRY

Steve Jones of the UK Telegraph examines the complex issues of religious identity and DNA, finding that “Y chromosomes reveal much leakage across the religious divide. A fifth of all the male lineages of modern Spain are of Jewish origin, which means that millions of devout Spanish Catholics have Sephardic ancestry, while the Sephardim themselves, with their unique and ancient Jewish ritual, present a wider range of genetic variation than do their Ashkenazi cousins. Plenty of those with one faith have biological roots in the other.”

AMOS OZ’S MEMOIR TO BE PUBLISHED IN ARABIC

According to The New York Times, Elias Khoury, a Arab whose son was killed by Palestinian terrorists six years ago, has paid to have Amos Oz’s autobiography, A Tale of Love and Darkness, translated into Arabic. “If we don’t understand each other, there will always be suspicion and gaps that can’t be bridged,” said Khoury. Read an exclusive Moment interview with Oz.

IN SEARCH OF THE JEWISH FANTASY NOVEL

The recently launched Jewish Review of Books asks if there is a Jewish Narnia? Michael Weingrad looks at Judaism and fantasy novels and concludes that “we will have to wait some time, if not forever, for a genuinely Jewish fantasy work to appear.” Read a piece from our archives on Harry Potter and the Torah for an alternate view.

DOWN AWAY WHERE THE LIGHTS ARE GAY…

The new hot Jewish tourist destination? Jamaica. The Wall Street Journal reports “From the tourism minister on down, Jamaican officialdom has embraced a plan to market the nation’s Jewish history as a way of wooing a new segment of travelers.”

AJAMI LOSES THE OSCAR AND A REAL ESTATE BATTLE

Ajami, the Israeli nominee for foreign film, didn’t win the Oscar but it did win our hearts. Read the Moment review of the gripping gritty drama in our most recent issue. Then read Meghan McCarty’s account in Religion Dispatches of how real estate development is driving Israeli Arabs out of the real-life Ajami neighborhood.


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