We've gotten a few e-mails lately, all suggesting that our previous wanderings into the deserts of Middle-earth in search of Mount Sinai may have gone off course. That we were mistaken to assume that Hobbits were the only candidates for Jew-dom and that, rather, our short, bearded buddies the Dwarves (like our friend Gimli here) were the correct culprit.
And these intrepid suggesters have a unique source for their belief: the writer himself. Apparently J.R.R. Tolkien gave an interview with the BBC in which he stated that the Dwarves could be taken as Jews within his narrative.
The short, bearded masses yearning for a lost, proud history that can never be recaptured? OK, that's pretty right on. Even the warrior-like aspect can be explained by our Israeli counterparts.
But here's where you lose us: all that digging. We Jews have plenty of preoccupations. Schmutz? Yeah, not so much. What kind of a meshuggenah wants to go underground anyway? All that schlepping just to stink of sweat and muck so bad that Tanta Leah won't let me into her living room for a nosh without taking a shower first? Oy. For what would I do such a thing?
So how do we square that with the testimony of the author himself? Easy: Tolkien was wrong. Listen, he may have been da bomb when it came to Elves and Ents and whatnot, but when it came to Hebrews, eh, he was just another shlimiel.