The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0347  Thursday, 26 August 2010

From:         Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         August 2, 2010 7:50:28 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0333  An Allusion or a Coincidence
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0333  An Allusion or a Coincidence

Much thanks any to Joseph Egert for the link to SJ Schonfeld's "A Hebrew Source for 
the MOV." Heretofore I have put no credence at all in "there's Hebrew stuff in 
Shakespeare!" but Mr. Schonfeld has provided a reasonable (to me) way for that to 

Recent DNA studies have charted the path of Jewish migration through various 
nations. It was a shock to me to find my family name, as is, as a place name in 

"When in 1492 Jews were expelled from Spain a great number of them took refuge in 
Italy. In the same year Jews were expelled from Sicily. The Spanish Jews arrived in 
Tuscany, Naples, Ferrara and in some other towns. In Rome and Genoa they experienced 
hunger, plague, and poverty and in many cases were forced to accept baptism in order 
to escape starvation."

"In 1516 the first Ghetto was estabilished in Venezia (Venice). Later other ghettos 
were established. The Church, deeply involved into the fight against Reformation, 
began a fanatic hunt of forbidden books and in 1553 in the principal cities of Italy 
were burned all the found copies of the Talmud."


It seems to me that two things, needing money to prevent starvation and wanting to 
preserve Jewish stories and literature from the fire, would be a very reasonable 
incentive for enterprising young men to rewrite Jewish stories to fit a 
Christian/Italian venue. (Hey, Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas.") Once the 
stories were in Italian, other enterprising young translators could earn a penny 
putting them into English, French, wherever they could sell them. Playwrights could 
then ransack them for material.

I'm going to stop poo-pooing the Hebrew connection. I now find it quaintly 

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