Where is a Jew?

Hello from Jakarta. I gave a lecture today at the University of Indonesia. In my introduction, I was talking about  Australian multiculturalism and how there isn’t a “typical look” for an Australian. I slipped in one of my favourite questions: “So, where do you all think I was born?” They looked at me in bewilderment. My accent is clearly Aussie (although not as ‘strain as our Julia Gillard) but my Yarmulke will confuse. Usually, they think I’m some sort of special muslim, a mufti of sorts who wears a black and not white cap. Wait for it, after a period of indeterminate silence, a fellow up the back says

Are you from Libya, sir?

Oy vey. Conclusion: there is no anti-semitism here. They wouldn’t know what a Jew was in a pink fit.

I guess when Moshiach does come, he’s gonna have a decent job first convincing:

  1. some that he isn’t yoshke
  2. other that he isn’t mohammed, and
  3. others why he doesn’t wear a Shtreimel and white socks

Anyway, there aren’t any problems with Kashrus here. There is no kashrus 🙂


Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

One thought on “Where is a Jew?”

  1. I’ve had similar discussions in Asia. It is remarkably difficult to distinguish between the so-called Judeao-Christian religions when your interlocutor hasn’t heard of Judaism and there’s a bit of a language barrier. One shopkeeper was convinced that he had caught me out when I conceded that Jews don’t eat pork and only worship one deity. “You see? Muslim!”


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