Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So, I am visiting my family in Merced this weekend.  My very macho, very farming, very cowboy, very American family.  This is family that have been in California for 6 generations, and involved with winning rodeos, growing Almonds (AMANDS), staking claims on property, spitting in the mud - tobacco or whatever else.  We're talking apple pie, chevrolet (or at least Ford F150), and all that.

So, we are looking at family photographs hanging on the wall - iconic photographs, the kind that get hung in the Whitehouse and places like that.  And my great second aunt once removed says, "That's a picture of Adam Kahl....who was, of course, Jewish!"  My aunt carried on in her prattle about family history, like she had done it a hundred times before.  "Hold on," I said.  "What was that about my great, great, great grandpa being Jewish?"  "Well, it's a family secret, nobody wants to talk about it, but he was Jewish.  It is confirmed.  I mean look at him, he was as Jewish as...." "Alright, Alright I got it," I said.  "So, that makes me about 10% Jewish? I asked.  "Looks like it," said my aunt.

It has taken me three days to process this new information about myself.  Frankly, I'm elated.  I always knew there was something sort of unique about myself that I have been unable to put my finger on for years.  For years I thought it was a cognitive programming, attitudinal behavior, what have you.  Finally, I know what it is.  I am part Jewish.  I am of the same race, at least in part; of Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, John Stewart, Sarah Silverman....and Jesus! Lekhayim!!!

Honestly, I don't have any particularly deep insights about this newly discovered personal revelation.  Except this...Embrace where you have come from, Embrace from whom you have come, and most of all, who you have been made - in Christ.  For all of us, our personal identity is made up of our cultural heritage, our national ethnicities, our environmental influences, our biological makeup.  And yet, the most important thing about ourselves is that when we are Christ followers, we are one in Christ.  The apostle Paul said it better; Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above...Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian...but Christ is all, and is in all (Col. 3:1-11).

Come to think of it, Paul was also Jewish...

All for now, 
Graham "Jesse" Baird


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