Monday, October 13, 2008
One of my favorite stories from going to a Jewish elementary and middle school, besides dressing up as Axl Rose in 4th grade for Purim (the Jewish version of Halloween, has to do with Columbus Day. By way of background, at my school I was under the impression that Jews were basically at the center of the world's history. For instance, in my history classes, I never learned about minor things like, oh, I don't know, THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, CHRISTIANITY, THE MIDDLE AGES, the inquisition, and other things that were less important than learning about what Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer ben Yehuda Abraham Noah David the Third said about whether the whale in which Jonah stayed for 3 days was literal or figurative. This obviously resulted in a later rubber band effect and my becoming obsessed with Christianity, practically majoring in it in college, working as a docent at the Cloisters Museum filled with medieval art, and collecting Jesus figurines.
In any event, we never got off for Columbus Day based on the argument that Columbus would have wanted the kids to be in school on his day. But in honor it, my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Malkin passed out a article which we were to read silently at our desk, the main thesis of the article being that CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WAS JEWISH. That's right, I was expected to now believe, and would be quizzed on, that Christopher Columbus was probably born Jason Rosenblatt and that he just shrewdly assumed the named Christopher Columbus so that no one except Jewish historians in the 1990s would ever suspect his true identity. I think it should now be clear why, when given the option of transferring to public school in 9th grade, I IMMEDIATELY took my parents up on this.