Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Cleopatra Meets Barbie

On Tu b'Av: It turns out, Abq Jew has recently learned, that Cleopatra was not Egyptian. This had been a topic of much concern in the New Mexico Jewish community - so Abq Jew is right here to set the record straight. 

Gal Gadot

Well, straighter. The Conversation (Academic rigor, journalistic flair), for example, tells us that Cleopatra’s skin colour didn’t matter in ancient Egypt – her strategic role in world history did. And author Toby Wilkinson goes on to claim -

There is no evidence that Cleopatra’s ethnicity was a matter of debate or interest during her own lifetime. She came from a long line of Greek-speaking kings, but her family had lived in Egypt for 300 years.

There is some doubt about the identity of Cleopatra’s mother. But centuries of royal precedent suggest she too would have been of Macedonian Greek descent.


And while we're talking about mothers: Recent research has revealed that Leonardo de Vinci was, in fact, a MOT. No, Abq Jew is not making this up. Tablet Magazine comes right out and says Leonardo da Vinci was Jewish. Indeed, that -

Italian historian Carlo Vecce set out to debunk
rumors of da Vinci’s foreign origins, but a
newly discovered document changed his mind.

Barbie Jewish Mom

Furthermore, claims author Mark Weitzman - 

In all likelihood, Leonardo da Vinci was only half Italian. His mother, Caterina, was a Circassian Jew born somewhere in the Caucasus, abducted as a teenager and sold as a sex slave several times in Russia, Constantinople, and Venice before finally being freed in Florence at age 15. 

This, at least, is the conclusion reached in the new book Il sorriso di Caterina, la madre di Leonardo, by the historian Carlo Vecce, one of the most distinguished specialists on Leonardo da Vinci.

Tu b'Av

Which brings us, of course, to Tu b'Av, the ancient and modern Jewish holiday of love. My Jewish Learning tells us:

Tu b’Av, the 15th Day of Av, is both an ancient and modern holiday. Originally a post-biblical day of joy, it served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in the Second Temple period (before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.). 

Tu b’Av was almost unnoticed in the Jewish calendar for many centuries but it has been rejuvenated in recent decades, especially in the modern state of Israel. In its modern incarnation it is gradually becoming a Hebrew-Jewish Day of Love, slightly resembling Valentine’s Day in English-speaking countries.

And - since Abq Jew is sure you were wondering -

The first mention of this date is in the Mishnah (Ta’anit, Chapter 4)), where Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted saying:

There were no happier days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. 


Or, as the Jewish spirituality (really, that's what they claim) website Jewitches states on Twitter ... er, X -

wait til the cottagecore girlies find out that Judaism has a holiday celebrating love where we dress up in white dresses and go dance in the vineyards and fields under the full moon

Full Sturgeon Moon

This year (2023 CE), we not only get the standard Full Moon for Tu b'Av - we get a Full Sturgeon Supermoon! And - on the last day of August, don't ya know - we get a Full Blue Supermoon, just like we did in 2012 (see Blue Moon). And which we won't see again until 2032!

Alex Jake Two Cats

And speaking of love ...

Too Jewish

One can be sure that those who thought Gal Gadot was too Jewish to portray Wonder Woman will surely consider her way too Jewish to portray Cleopatra. However, as ScreenRant points out -
While it's no secret that Hollywood has been guilty of whitewashing various characters for years, the Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news that declares the film has been whitewashed perpetuates a harmful misunderstanding about Gadot's own background, as she's an Israeli actress of Ashkenazi Jew ancestry. 
Gadot has spoken out about the Cleopatra whitewashing controversy to BBC Arabic (via The Independent), saying -
First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.
Barbie Torah

Which brings us, finally, to Barbie. Whose Creator, Ruth Handler, of blessed memory, was indeed Jewish. As is her daughter, Barbara. As was her son, Kenneth z"l.

Now, the Washington Posts's Alexandra Petri (see December 2022's The Battle: Xanuqa vs Xmas, et al) has, in the "true" MAGA spirit, defined Barbie as

Barbie: (noun) Feminist demon enemy of the state.


However - Hey Alma's Abigail Weil asks -

Barbie Biblical

Is the ‘Barbie’ Movie the Greatest Biblical Retelling Ever Made?

While Hey Alma's Evelyn Frick proclaims -

Barbie Shabbat

Greta Gerwig Wants ‘Barbie’ to Feel Like Shabbat

Which is not to mention the cultural phenomenon known as -


Abq Jew's advice - for all of our sakes - is

Don't even

Or else, we end up with -


Told ya not to go there ....

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