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Fangs but no fangs

Five reasons vampires aren't Jews

Rabbi David Wolpe

Their day begins at night, they show a certain aversion to the sign of the cross and they dress in black. Of course, I am talking about Jews.

But add some invidious stereotypes – bloodsucking and a predatory nature, and you get vampires. So, are vampires Jewish?

There are Jewish vampires. In his classic, “Jewish Magic and Superstition” (Forgotten Books, 2008), Joshua Trachtenberg writes that medieval Jewish literature has tales of “Estrie” – a bloodsucking demon who can assume different forms. But Trachtenberg points out that the Estrie and similar fiends are of non-Jewish origin, imported into certain strands of Jewish folklore to express deep-seated fears of dangers lurking in the world.

For more, see the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, www.jewishjournal.com/cover_story/article/five_reasons_vampires_arent_jews_20091111/.

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