Hitch The Jew

Dec 20 2011 @ 9:39am

Marc Tracy expounds on his "Unified Theory of Hitch":

What becoming Jewish did was allow Hitchens to seize upon Judaism’s rationalist strain—Spinoza, not Abraham; Moses Mendelssohn, not Moses Maimonides (and not one-word Moses); and the Haskalah, not the Enlightenement. He was orphaned and made Jewish almost simultaneously, departing a small affiliation while joining a much larger one, and, as one can imagine Hitchens putting it with a due nod to a different Marx, joining one of the few clubs of which he may have wished to be a member.

Must Hitchens have been Jewish? Some would say no and would point as proof, first, to the fact that he lived over half his life in ignorance of his Jewishness, and second, to the fact that even the turn that defined the latter half of his career, though admittedly well-timed to his discovery of his heritage, did not contain anything explicitly Jewish about it. I would respond by gesturing at the scoreboard: Hitchens was a lifelong subversive who identified subversiveness with Jewishness; and a lifelong atheist who identified atheism with Jewishness; and, it did so happen, a lifelong Jew. That he did not know this and turned out as he did is evidence to you of chance, as it no doubt was to him, but to me it is evidence of something else.