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Thoughts on the Jewish aspects of Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (mild spoilers)

Anybody else read it? What did you think of of Elma’s Jewishness? It seemed reasonably accurate to me, though I would have expected her to talk about going to temple, not synagogue. Also, girls reading the Torah at their bat mitzvah didn’t become common until the 1970s, not the 1950s, so that was anachronistic. I can’t find info on when Reform introduced using a ribbon for kriah, but that also seems like a modern innovation. (Though why she couldn’t just tear the shirt she’d been wearing when the meteor hit, I don’t know.)

From a historical perspective, it was total nonsense. Any Reform German Jews who were living in the South in the 18th century would not have any descendants who spoke Yiddish almost 200 years later, in fact, most likely they wouldn’t be Jewish at all. One prominent Jewish family in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Mordecais, intermarried by the second generation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordecai_House

However, there was a Jewish major general in WWII, which I thought was also impossible, but apparently not. His name was Maurice Rose. His grandparents were from Poland and he was born in Connecticut in 1899. He was raised somewhat religious but at some point either converted to Christianity or merely identified as such in order to assimilate. He intermarried, didn’t have any daughters, and was killed in action in 1945.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Rose

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