To Sherlock Holmes, she is always the woman. Thus begins "A Scandal in Bohemia", which introduces us to Irene Adler.
Various adaptations have turned Adler into a Holmes enemy as well as a romantic interest, the ultimate femme fatale. But was she? Her role in the canon is not exactly large: she swiftly exits "Bohemia", never to be seen again. Holmes does pine for her, but as an adversary, not a woman. He is not what you call a ladies man, after all.
But does he pine for a Jew? Some assume Adler is, because of the last name. Two of the possible inspirations for the character, actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Adah Menken, were Jewish as well. And... we're stumped. There is little to go on; considering the character's origins, we can't even assume that Adler's name is real to begin with.
To Sherlock Holmes, she is always the Jew? Sorry, we're just not seeing it...
Verdict: Sadly, not a Jew.
July 29, 2013