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Jewish Surname or not?


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#1 daniel.nazar

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:43 PM

Hi, I'm new to this forum, as you can probably tell. I'm not religious myself, and I'm not even sure if I'm a Jew. That's the problem. I want to track down the meaning and origin of this family name I have, but I am at a loss. I also have other reasons for wanting to know about this. I'm hoping that some of you astute folks can help me in my quandaries.

-- My last name is "Nazar". I frequently get mail from Muslim associations asking me to be a better Muslim etc., even door calls, but the problem is I'm not an Arab, and have never been affiliated with Islam in any way. (I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, actually. Though I should point out I have no ties to that organization either, now that I'm an adult.) The door calls are short, because when I open the door, they can see I'm just some Germanic-looking guy who doesn't seem to have any interest in their religion.

-- I have asked around to various people, some who have this last name, others who might just know for cultural reasons. I have been told that it is a first name for Arabs, meaning "Beloved". However, I can't accept that my name is just a first name changed into a surname. First of all, I don't have Arab features. Actually, some racist people have insulted me before when I grew my beard out, since I have sometimes had curly locks grow from my sideburns. And on the Internet, I frequently get ousted from message forums and boards to the tunes of, "jew! Jew!" I find this is strange, since I don't reveal my personal identity in any way on these places.

-- So I did some more digging. I found something someone wrote about Isaiah's use of the word "branch" or Nazarene. My last name, Nazar, means "consecrated" according to this work, in Hebrew. Is that true? I'm unable to lay my doubts to rest.

-- My father's personality and his intellectual depth have always struck me as different from anyone I know around here. I don't personally know any Jews myself. But there was always a certain chord struck in me through the way he spoke, a chord which was only ever struck again in a few random moments in works made by Jewish producers starring Jewish actors, and a couple of times watching random YouTube videos while I was trying to pick up the Hebrew alphabet. I'm not saying it was a huge similarity, just a feeling of familiarity that I can't put my finger on.

-- My grandfather Nazar was from Poland, Ukraine originally. He's passed now, but when I had my father inquire with him on the matter of our history (since he wouldn't speak to me directly about it), he simply said that the records had been destroyed in a fire in Poland. He was very nervous about the topic of being a Jew, and he might have even mentioned coming from a part of the country where Jews weren't very well-liked at the time.

So as you can see, I have many reasons for suspecting my grandfather of hiding his true origin, and considering he didn't look Arabic, well...I'm leaning towards thinking the name is Jewish and I'm 1/8th related to these folks. Sure, Nazar is found everywhere around the world in very tiny concentrations, but I bet a lot of names are. I don't want to jump to conclusions, just find the strongest inference with your help.

Can you lend me your opinions please? Thanks everybody.

#2 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 11:09 PM

Judaism goes by the mother. If your Maternal line is Jewish, that would make you Jewish. Your surname could have Jewish origins, but Since its is passed on your paternal line it really would not make you Jewish. There is no concept of being 1/2 Jewish. You either are, your not. If you want to see if your Jewish, you should start with your mothers family tree.
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#3 daniel.nazar

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 11:11 PM

Wow, fast. She is German. Thank you for your help.

#4 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 01:13 PM

Your welcome. :) There are German Jews. Anything is possible.
"Common things happen commonly, uncommon things don't. So when you hear hoofbeats, think horses , not zebras."

"Be open minded, But, not so open minded that your brains fall out!"

" I mean how do you greet moshiach if half a baby is hanging out of your hoo ha??" Bird

#5 warren

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 01:23 PM

I frequently get ousted from message forums and boards to the tunes of, "jew! Jew!"

What sorts of forums do you frequent where Jews (or people mistaken for same) aren't welcome?
Poe's law: without a clear indication of the author's intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between sincere extremism and an exaggerated parody of extremism

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#6 daniel.nazar

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 02:00 PM

What sorts of forums do you frequent where Jews (or people mistaken for same) aren't welcome?


Well, I'm not interested in starting a case for persecution. I know that weakens my account somewhat, but I just don't want to be involved in that. But I'll say this, if you ever demonstrate a good working knowledge of things, post with a lot of substance, and maybe hint at a little bit of the things hidden from view in life, boy, people will just jump out at you and label you a Jew (as an insult of course rather than just a neutral statement as it should be) if they can do it hiding from behind their computers.

#7 greentiger

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 04:35 PM

if you ever demonstrate a good working knowledge of things, post with a lot of substance, and maybe hint at a little bit of the things hidden from view in life, boy, people will just jump out at you and label you a Jew

Sounds like a high reputation we've got!

Not that i beleive it either... you do know btw that many jews don't have naturally curly sidelocks, right?
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#8 daniel.nazar

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:22 PM

Sounds like a high reputation we've got!

Not that i beleive it either... you do know btw that many jews don't have naturally curly sidelocks, right?


I do, in fact. I was never aware of this obviously aesthetic part of the whole 'orthodox attire' (if you'll excuse that expression), until I looked it up. I only became aware of this association in other people's minds when they made it abundantly clear that they thought I was inferior to them since they thought I was Jewish.

Really, it has nothing to do with race. I know there are stupid people of all colors and kinds. It has more to do with inferiority complexes in people who believe they themselves are stupid - and they may well be right.

Edit: It just dawned on me that you seem to suggest I am not being wholly honest in my account. The last board was a place full of scum and villainy, so it only follows that would happen. But at me? Why? I don't go around waving an Israeli flag or claiming to be a Jew, or anything else for that matter. (And no, it wasn't only one board. That would be pretty absurd to even mention if that was the case. All the boards revolved around loose topics relating to music or culture -- nothing overly intellectual ever came up generally -- so most of the participants weren't exactly top notch conversationalists. Yeah, walking into a bad place you find bad people, but anyway it was worth a mention considering I was already writing the rest of this stuff. I don't think I'll talk about this subject in particular anymore, but I would like to know if the translation of my name can have other linguistically valid interpretations too)

#9 greentiger

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:30 PM

Im not calling you a liar. I just find it hard to beleive that normal peoplewould really jump to call anyone smarter than them a jew..
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

#10 daniel.nazar

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:31 PM

Im not calling you a liar. I just find it hard to beleive that normal peoplewould really jump to call anyone smarter than them a jew..


Fair enough. It surprised me each time, it seems so...random.

Edit: You know, I did leave out one bit of information that might make it seem a little more sensical. I had started to engage in topics covering symbolism. I always seem to get one or two nutbars that emerge and decree all things Masonic as Jewish, and since I'm on the topic, certainly I couldn't be someone who is just interested in symbolism, I must be whatever it is they fear.

#11 greentiger

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 04:14 AM

ok thats a bit less random
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

#12 daniel.nazar

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:31 AM

ok thats a bit less random


Yeah, well, I don't know really, I'm not a mind-reader. Oh well




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