When I was 22 years old, a Jewish woman stopped me in the street. I remember her cupping my face in her hands and she said, “You are a Jewish boy.”
I said, “I’m not Jewish.”
She responded, “Oh yes you are. You are Jewish. However, you just don’t know that you’re Jewish. I see it in your eyes and in your mouth. You are Jewish.”
She smiled and was so kind and sweet. It was a surreal moment.
But as it turns out, she was correct!
My uncle recently had a genealogical blood test that identified him as 19.3% Ashkenazi Jewish…which makes me 9.65% Jewish.
There have been rumors of our Jewish ancestry for years. My grandfather Philip claimed to be Swedish and Lutheran, but he had the last name of “Koppel” – a traditional Jewish last name.
“Koppel” is the Ashkenazic Jewish diminutive (little nick name) for Jakob, that is “Little Jacob.”
So this explains a few Jewish things in my life:
- My first book is titled: The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholicism
- That trilogy of books is given to showing how Christianity transitioned from Jerusalem to Rome by God’s design and as a fulfillment of Jewish prophecy:
- My audio series on the book of Revelation is a study on the forgotten Jewishness of the Apocalyptic signs and visions.
- A teach a class in Rome for Seminarians that includes the Jewish origins of the Catholic Church in Rome.
- A founded the Maccabee Society – a Christian fraternity for men – and named it after the great Jewish warrior and general Judas Maccabeus. I did this before I knew about the Jewish lineage.
So there you have it. My inner Jew has been discreetly speaking all along.
I’m going to anticipate an objection that I foresee in the comments: “You’re not Jewish because Judaism says that your mother must be Jewish in order for you to be Jewish.”
Some Jews may say this, but it’s not biblical and it’s not true. Here’s why Judaism has never truly been matrilineal:
- Ephraim and Manasseh were the fathers of two Jewish tribes. Their father was Joseph of the colored coat. And their mother was an Egyptian daughter of an Egyptian priest, that is, non-Israelite. So these 2 men were born of a non-Israelite mother. Are you seriously going to claim that 2 of the 12 Tribes of Israel are not truly Israelite?
- Moses married a non-Israelite wife. His children were obviously Israelite.
- Boaz married the non-Jewish Ruth. She has a book of the Bible named after her. Ruth was the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David. So if Obed (born of a non-Jewish mother) is not Jewish, then, neither is King David.
More biblical examples could be given. Israelites are merely children of the Israelites, even if there is a mixed marriage. Michael Barber even has a cool theory that the DNA of Abraham has descended to almost of all humanity through the exile and assimilation of the ten northern tribes.
Question: Has anyone else out there discovered a Jewish heritage later in life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment by clicking here.