Friday, June 09, 2006

HOW MANY E.M.-ERS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB?

I've been called a few things in my time, but being described as "shabbos goy" in this Harry's Place thread came as something of a surprise, as I imagine it did to Will of A General Theory of Rubbish who was also tagged with the same curious label.

It's always good to be accused of being something you don't actually know the meaning of.

Torah.org gives the following definition:
Shabbos goy: A non-Jew who does work on Sabbath that a Jew cannot do.
So far so good.

Delving a little deeper, I came across this rather unusual claim on the SomethingJewish website:
Think of Jewish celebrities and Elvis Presley isn't someone who immediately springs to mind. However, the authors of a new book and accompanying documentary feature have discovered that the rock n'roll legend, while not actually Jewish, had strong links with the Jewish community in Memphis, where he grew up.

According to Max Wallace and Jonathan Goldstein, the authors of Schmelvis: In Search Of Elvis Presley's Jewish Roots, Elvis grew up in a Jewish area of Memphis and as a teenager, lived downstairs from a local Rabbi, Alfred Fruchter. The Rabbi's widow, Jeanette Fruchter, recalls; "He was about 15 years old then and we got along so beautifully. He was such a nice boy, such manners. He called my husband Sir Rabbi."

Elvis got on so well with the couple that he even became their 'Shabbos Goy', visiting them every Saturday morning to turn on lights and do other jobs they were prohibited from doing. "We never told him we called him a Shabbos Goy. Usually, you give a small tip to the gentile who does this for you, but Elvis would never accept any money, he said it was his pleasure.
So to answer my original question, it looks like the answer is two: me and Will.

I'm sure we should take it as a compliment.


Thank you. Thank you very much.

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