"Are You Jewish?"

It happened twice today. So I'm blogging on it.

I went to the pharmacy to see if we had a saline nasal spray. (We had one. And I prescribed it. And now we have none.) The Kenyan pharmacy tech says, "You know, you look Jewish. I have a video with Jesus in it, and every time I see you, I think you look like him." Not 2 hours later, I head to the nursery, and the nurse asks, "Are you Jewish?" I say, "Did someone tell you to ask me this?" "No," she says. "You're saying that because I look like Jesus in the movies, right?" She smiles, just a tiny bit self-conscious. "Yes." "Well, I've known a lot of Jews, and I don't particularly think Jesus in the movies looks Jewish."

This was not at all the first time I've gotten this since moving to Kenya. I think the reasons are multifactorial. First, they really haven't met any Jews, with the notable exception of a Messianic Jewish dermatologist who came to visit earlier this year.

Second, they've all seen The Jesus Film, which actually is the most viewed movie in cinematic history, according to The New York Times. Personally, I think he looks like Don Chaffer.

Truth be told, I actually got this prior to coming to Kenya. My friend Jenny was serving as a med student/translator for me in clinic in Ypsilanti for some of my Latino patients. We left the room, and she broke into a smile. "I've got to tell you a story."

"When you left the exam room for a minute, the patient turned to me and said, 'You know, I feel like I've gotten to know you, so I'll share something with you. I think my doctor looks like Jesus, and when he came into the room I thought: The Lord is my doctor and he has come to heal me!' "

There are worse things in this world.

Lord Jesus, we are all being transformed into your image...


archyfan said...

thats just cool, Eric. All I ever get is you look like harrison ford. :)

Jonathan said...

must be the beard...

Anonymous said...

That's a very nice compliment. Mom

Nato said...

i feel your pain. i was asked the same question by two different groups of Hasidic Jews while at various airports in the last week.

Belmont University - from here to Jewish.