11 February 2009

Cuba: Castro writes on genealogy!

Fidel Castro is a closet genealogist?

JTA reported on Castro's musings concerning the surname of President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Fidel Castro speculated as to the origins of Rahm Emanuel's surname.

"What a strange surname!" begins the column in the Cuban newspaper Gramma penned by the retired and ailing Cuban dictator, and dedicated to musings about U.S. President Barack Obama's chief of staff.

"It appears Spanish, easy to pronounce, but it’s not. Never in my life have I heard or read about any student or compatriot with that name, among tens of thousands."

Emanuel is a common Christian and Jewish name, first appearing in Isaiah as the name of the messiah; it means "God is with us."

Castro muses whether there's a connection with philosopher Immanuel Kant and also made some errors, writing that Emanuel is the son of a Russian immigrant, when his father Benjamin is an Israeli. He also noted Emanuel's Israeli roots.

It would be interesting for Castro to detail his own genealogy and the widely-held speculation that his own family roots are Sephardic.

Read the complete story at the link above.

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