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WouldJew Believe #13

June 24, 2009 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

Odd, outrageous and interesting facts such as...the "real" Shakespeare was Jewish?


Along with legends such as Columbus, and even Honest Abe, the question of whether Shakespeare may be MOT has been long debated. But unlike the others, there are questions about his whole identity! Did he write alone? Did he write at all? Was "he" a "she?" For 200 years Francis Bacon was #1 in the great "real" Shakespeare Hunt. Other popular "real Shakespeare" candidates include Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford; Christopher Marlowe; and even Queen Elizabeth I.

Ah, but one amateur Shakespearologist, John Hudson, is convinced that William Shakespeare -- was a Jewish woman named Amelia Bassano Lanier! A crackpot he's not. With a range of degrees from top universities, he's a cognitive scientist, who's spent his career restructuring and inventing in the communications industry.

So now he's "structuring" the idea that the Bard was a wildly brilliant balaboost-himwho, back then, needed to publish as a "male" to be widely published, period. (Bassano, a Converso, was the first female known to publish a book of poetry titled Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum in 1611.)

The short of it? Hudson contends that Bassano's life matches "Shakespeare's" work far better than what we know about "his." He's also ID'd technical linguistic similarities between her poetry and "Shakespeare's" verse. Plus, he notes Jewish allegories, along with references to Amelia Bassano Lanier's in the plays. In fact, Hudson's so convinced, he formed a theater company, The Dark Lady Players, to present "her" works as he believes they were truly intended. (For more details, visit

The Bard answered questions with questions. "To be or not to be?" (Very Jewish).

The emmes? Well, the Bard did answer heavy questions – with questions. "To be or not to be?" (Very Jewish).

Then there's:
"Crack of doom" (Macbeth)
"Eaten me out of house and home" (Henry IV, part 2)
"I have not slept one wink" (Cymbeline)
"It smells to heaven" (Hamlet)
"My own flesh and blood" (The Merchant of Venice)
"Out, damned spot!" (Macbeth)
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" (Henry VI, part 2)

Jewish female? Sounds good to me!


Thanks to a new "kosher" search engine, "" (combining the name for noodle pudding with Google), even Orthodox Rabbis can surf and search the Net with no fear of "trayf" traffic popping up. Koogle, whose site is in Hebrew, omits potentially objectionable material, such as immodest photos of women, and shopping sites that feature forbidden products. Koogle was created to fill the need for a kosher alternative so religious Israelis could browse without breaking – even accidentally – Jewish law. Naturally, there's no posting on Shabbos. Try to buy something – and not only will God object, but Koogle won't let you! Now there's a marriage of religion and technology!


Learn Torah, learn Torah, learn Torah
bit by bit from alphabet to sentences to passages
to pages with phrases from sages oh baby
learn Torah, learn Torah, baby I'll be there for you

And so starts the chorus of "Learn Torah, Baby I'll Be There for Ya!" written by Matt Bar – leader of a "Bible Rap" movement. The Iowa-born folk-rapper-Hebrew school teacher created the concept to keep his tweenie students "rapping" about Judaism. Unlike Jew Tang Clan, he sees himself as poet, not kitsch-meister. Bar has opened for OutKast, a hip hop group, one of his songs was featured on MTV's Real World, and his fifth album is due out this summer, when he'll also be touring at Jewish summer camps. So, stay tuned. If your kinder start coming home from Day School rapping "I'm Not White, I'm Jewish!" or "The Burning Bush is in Your Building" – you'll be debating whether this Bar is doing young Jews a Mitzvah?


Did you hear the news? No? Of course not. Almost no major U.S. paper reported it! But it's the emmes. Jewish Stanford Professor Ronald Levy, who played a major role in developing a revolutionary drug used in cancer treatment, received The King Faisal International Prize in Medicine this year. Yet, few papers have picked up the startling historical news that this was the first time in its 30-year history, a Jew had ever been awarded the $200,000 prize (plus a dinner with Saudi King Abdullah).

True, his Israeli wife, and their children were "allowed" dispensations to attend, despite Israeli Visa entries stamped all over their passports. And true, the Levy family was given the "royal" treatment during their stay. Some who knew hailed this as a "hopeful" sign in Jewish-Arab relations, suggesting that the Saudis were becoming more "open." Of course it's also true that Levy's bio, posted on the Arab contest website, deleted the Prof's post-doctoral work at the Weizmann Institute in Rechovot. All of which raises some fascinating questions: Why was this historic event virtually ignored by the press? Is this a "prize" any MOT whose homeland has been "recognized" -- for annihilation – should be accepting? Oh ... and why isn't an Arab prize going to ... a "worthy" Arab? Nuff said?


Send a letter in Israel, and you can be sure it's the Glatt thing! Israeli postal stamps use a glue that is certified kosher. (Glue comes from collagen, which is found in the connective tissues of animals). Of course, make sure the envelope is also kosher – or no licking.


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