July 15, 1853 – May 4, 1934
When we were kids, we used to love playing Cowboys and Indians. We always wanted to be the Indians, because, as Jews, centuries of oppression run deep in our blood. So we felt a kinship to our Native American brothers. Or maybe we just wanted to fire a bow and arrow. Hard to remember.
Little did we know that there actually was a precedent of a Jew becoming a Native American tribal chief. His name was Solomon Bibo, the son of an Austrian cantor, who made his way to New Mexico in the 1870s. There, he and his brothers opened a number of stores, and grew a reputation as traders between whites and natives.
Bibo then married into the Acoma tribe, with his wife converting to Judaism. In 1885, the natives elected him tribal chief, a position he held four times, and was recognized for the US government as such.
So you see, Jewish boys and girls, you can grow up to be an Indian chief, if only you put your mind to it. Or you can be like us, and get it out of your system by running in the sun and pretending. (Wait, we RAN in the SUN? Are we remembering this correctly?)
May 10, 2011