Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
To my knowledge, there exists a small, but not insignificant, number of Irishmen or Irish Americans who had Jewish mothers and have adopted an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle. Some years ago about eight of them were learning together at the Diaspora Yeshiva, Mount Zion, Jerusalem. In addition many â€œCelts,â€ especially Scotsmen or people from Northern Ireland, other the last two centuries or so have converted to Orthodox Judaism. Some of them now live in Israel. A friend of mine from France is of mixed origins but likes to emphasize his Celtic Breton ancestry. One of my neighbors before retiring was a senior Kashrut supervisor in the USA. He says his ancestry is from Ireland. There are others.
President Ronald Reagan was descended from Irish monarchs, and believed his ancestors had once kept the Torah. President Reagan did much to bring the Jews from Russia and Ethiopia to Israel. When speaking to representatives of the Russian Government, before the release of the Jews was granted, President Reagan would stress the need for the Jews to be allowed to freely observe their religion. In the early Christian era the Celtic Church in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Hebrides, and Brittany (a Celtic area in France) had many â€œJewishâ€ practices. Before then they had been pagans. Nevertheless a belief existed among them that they had once kept the Mosaic faith and been together with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. In the past, they did not refer to themselves as â€œCelts.â€ This is a recent term. Their ethnic ethnonym was â€œIberâ€ or â€œHiber,â€ -hence â€œHibernian.â€ This is a form of the name â€œHebrew.â€
Nowadays many of the Irish as individuals may be sympathetic to Israel but most are antagonistic. They allow themselves to believe and repeat horrible things about Israel and the Jews. They may do this while claiming to not be anti-Semitic. In Scotland a similar situation prevails though the anti-Jewish settlements are less pronounced. Wales is more alike to England, less prejudiced, and more pro-Jewish.