Drew Barrymore is converting to Judaism and having her tattoos removed. But even after she’s taken the Torah classes and gone through all the rituals and ceremonies and starts in with the lox and bagels and onions and Mott’s apple juice, she won’t be that much more Jewish than yours truly.
I’m serious. You can say (and you wouldn’t be technically wrong) that being Jewish is a matter of blood and to some degree conviction, but I feel it’s also a matter of personality — how you think, act and behave. Because that’s where I come in.
I sincerely believe that I am, in a sense, “a member of the tribe.” I’m a near-Jew in that I come from an English-mixed-with-German family but I possess most of the standard urban Jewish-male traits — angst, edge, a rat-a-tat mind, guilt, self-doubt, a penchant for dark humor, a glum world view, occasionally combative, a complainer who’s occasionally compulsive. Back in the late ’70s two Jewish pals told me I had as much Jewish guilt as they did if not more so. I have rarely felt so honored, and I have tried to live up to this ever since.