The greatest thing about Abraham Lincoln, who would have been 200 years old today, is his infinite capacity to surprise us. Didja know he was manic-depressive? Didja know he was gay? Didja know he knocked up Mary Todd before they got married? Didja know that, except for that unfortunate incident with John Wilkes Booth, he would still be here to celebrate with us today? It's true! Except for his doctor's incompetence, he would have risen from the dead, just like Jesus. Abraham Lincoln was that amazing, people!
And do you know why? It's because, like Jesus and Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud and Neil Diamond and countless other people who changed the world...
Abraham Lincoln was a Jew.
If you find it difficult to trust the word of someone called Unreal, could you find it in your heart to trust a professor at Rutgers University? Sure, Elizabeth Hirschman is a professor of marketing, not history, but does that make her findings any less valid?
Of course not! So consider:
• Lincoln never pledged allegiance to any church. Some say that this was because he was actually an atheist, but we know better. (Well, now we do.)
• His great-grandfather's name was Mordecai. His grandfather's name was Abraham. Who the hell else has names like that?
• Lincoln, England, the town from whence Abraham Lincoln's ancestors presumably came, once had a thriving Jewish population. True, they were all expelled (along with every other Jew in England) in 1290, but there were a whole bunch of secret Jews in Spain after their expulsion, so who's to say it couldn't happen in England?
But here is the crux of Hirschman's research: Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's father, was a Melungeon. So, amazingly, is professor Elizabeth Hirschman.
What is a Melungeon?
Glad you asked! The Melungeons are a group of people who live in remotest Appalachia. Nobody knows where they came from. They could have been American Indians. They could have been freed slaves. They could have been the lost tribe of Roanoke. The beauty of this is that no one actually knows. Hirschman's family never ate pork when she was growing up. So they could have been Jews. Why not?
The logic is as follows: If Hirschman's people were Jews and they were Melungeons, then all other Melungeons must be Jews as well, and if Thomas Lincoln was a Melungeon, he and all his descendants, including and especially Abraham, were members of the tribe.
(Some Melungeons also have an extra thumb. This is neither here nor there. We just thought it was interesting.)
It's quite exciting to learn we had a Jewish president. Especially since he wasn't Joe Lieberman. Abraham Lincoln! Oy, the naches!
OK, so Hirschman has never actually published her findings and the name "Abraham Lincoln" appears nowhere in her 23-page vita and she did not respond to our request for an interview. But we have it on the absolute authority of a woman who says she typed a paper on Lincoln the Jew for Hirschman. It was a note appended to an e-mail that has been circulating through the Jewish Conspiracy Underground, so we know it must be true.
As his people like to say, chag sameach and mazel tov, Abie baby! And l'chaim! Just because you can't drink anymore doesn't mean Unreal can't!