Hi! I am a Gentile author, and I wish to add a pair of Jewish characters to my most recent writing work, which features a very large amount of Monsters as characters. I want to make sure they’re both as fleshed out and lovable as all my other characters, so I’ve been doing my research. I’m close to done, so I wanted to send an ask your way!
The characters are Armel, a Werebear gentleman, and his daughter, a Golem named Ava. In the story, Ava is the leader of a local Biker Gang called the Wild Hunt, and Armel is retired, but he houses and hides Ava’s girlfriend, Sofia, when she is targeted by a rival gang.
A key point of both the characters’ backstories is that Armel, at a young age, became stranded in the woods which surrounded his rural home, and was taken into a Fae community, which fostered him until adulthood, in return for him teaching them about Judaism. Is this alright? I’ve looked into Reform Judaism (the type of Judaism he practices, chosen for being more lenient), and nothing I’ve found speaks against interacting with Fairies. If there is anything forbidding the teaching of the faith to outsiders, I’ve not read it, as long as the convert is willing to learn and grow and be a part of the community.
The reason I wished for Armel to teach was because of the second character, Ava. I’m trying to go for more traditional depictions of the characters, and I know that Golems were traditionally created (in folklore) by Rabbi to protect Jewish communities. while I know he’d have been nowhere close to an actual Rabbi, I was hoping his position as a teacher would count. Ava is by no means a traditional Golem, possessing a personality and mind of her own (probably due to pesky fairy magic). If this is disrespectful in any way, I will be sure to change it.
And a final question: I’ve not been able to get a definite answer as to the nature of lineage in Reform Judaism. Some sources tell me your Mother determines your status of being Jewish/gentile, while others say it’s your father’s side of the family. If you know which, I’d be very thankful to know! :D
Thank you so much for reading my (stupidly long) ask, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting your reply!
1. Teaching outsiders about our culture and faith is okay; it doesn’t make them Jewish, though– the fairies would have to actually convert on purpose (which it doesn’t sound like is part of your story; don’t worry about that.) I also think it’s very sweet that even as a child his Jewishness was important enough to him to maintain it even without other Jewish adults around. There are countless stories of kids who got rescued by Christian families and were therefore raised Christian, so I like your version.
2. The Golem sounds fine to me but I’m no expert. I do know that the golem in The Golem and the Jinni definitely has her own mind and personality, although you can tell that in some ways she’s totally different from human personalities.
3. Some other denominations of Judaism hold that descent is entirely matrilineal but from what I’ve heard of Reform, either parent being Jewish + raised in a Jewish household is enough. (The reason for matrilineal descent is that, with the exception of trans pregnancy, you absolutely know who your mother is because you literally were in her womb.)