March 9, 1943 – January 17, 2008
By the traditional definition of Judaism, everyone who has a Jewish mother is automatically Jewish. Which is all fine and well.
But should the traditional definition apply in the case of Bobby Fischer? Once a brilliant chess champion, a transcendent genius, he descended into lunacy, claiming the Holocaust never happened, vindicating September 11 attacks, and denouncing his Jewish roots, even writing to the Encyclopedia Judaica asking for his name to be taken out.
So what are we to do with this nut job? He clearly stated that he does not consider himself Jewish, so who are we to argue? Yet there she lingers, his Jewish mother...
So there you have it, our first "Barely a Jew" verdict. Why would we ever argue with a lunatic?
Verdict: Barely a Jew.
September 5, 2006