Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (26 December 2017, 6 Tevet , 5778)
I found out that I'm Irish. How do I act like it?
I saw another answer to this query from someone in Ireland. They were in effect saying that it is all cultural, there is nothing in the blood, and it is a mistake to fancy otherwise. I disagree. I personally cannot answer the question completely BUT I can relate something that throws light on it. This involves part of my own life-history that normally I would keep to myself but it is of interest. My father was a Gentile who was brought up in Wales. His mother was reportedly related to the Kings of England and they were relatively well-to-do. His father (i.e. my grandfather) was the headmaster of his own private school and also was said to be of vague aristocratic lineage. My mother was Jewish. Eventually I too became an observant Jew as I am today and live in Israel. My father converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. He always liked the Irish, Ireland which he visited, and Irish culture. I was sent to both Catholic and secular schools. Many of my school mates were of Irish stock. I moved around from school to school and from one group of friends to another. I was a problem child. Looking back I feel that if I had have wanted to stay as I was and get by there then it was mainly the Irish ones who would have helped me. Indeed it was they who helped me in several ways when others would not. [ I did not however get along with all of them, on the contrary.] Anyway I became an observant Religious Jew and moved to Israel. Because my mother was Jewish so too was I and therefore this made it easier for me. I got married to a Jewish girl from an Eastern non-European community. When our first son was born his mother decided to call him “Oriel” which is a Biblical name (1-Chronicles 6:5, 15;5, 2-Chronicles 13:2) . She did not consult with me at all on this matter. The said name had never even crossed my mind, nor come up in conversation. For the children who came later I did have a say in naming them but in this case I did not. I am not complaining, the choice was OK with me. The name was pleasing enough and I was pleased to let the mother be happy. Eventually the marriage broke up though I remained on good terms with the children. I started writing books about the Lost Ten Tribes being among Western peoples. I did some serious research and spent very much time on the matter. Eventually I came across Irish sources or was given them by others and wrote a book based mainly on them. It had not been my intention to concentrate on Ireland and the Milesians (who were the main Celtic settlers of Ireland) but that is the way it turned out. The book sold out fairly quickly. It was never reprinted though I used segments of it in later works. It was the third book I had published and I wrote more works after that. Meanwhile one of my sons in the USA did a DNA test. It turned out that the YDNA related us to Nial the first High King of Ireland. The detailed particulars of the test showed a concentration in an area in Northeast Ireland where had once been a Kingdom named “Oriel” (sic) otherwise known as “Airgialla.”
Kingdom of Oriel
Airgialla (also Airgialla, Uriel, Orial, Orgialla, Orgiall, Oryallia, Ergallia, Modern Irish Oirialla) was the name of an Irish federation and Irish kingdom which first formed around the 7th century.
My parents had already passed away by this time. I did however have an aunt, sister of my father, who was still alive. We corresponded. After my parents had died she had gone back to Wales and checked into the family history. It had been accepted in the family that the parents of my grandfather had died in a typhus epidemic and that he had been brought up by relatives. The truth was that no-one knew who his father was or if they did they did not say. His parentage, or lack of it, had been covered up due to the social values that then prevailed. My father allegedly was never aware of all this. Taking this together with the DNA test and other factors it may therefore be supposed that the forefathers of my father were Irishmen. Not only that but in Ireland descendants of Nial often have certain surnames peculiar to themselves. Some of these names were those of friends from my childhood. Following this I did begin to take more of an interest in the Irish, corresponded with some of them, and joined an e-mail discussion list of theirs. They are different from the English. I would say they are more temperamental. So am I but this is not something to be proud of. There were aspects of Irishness that I liked and some that I did not. I find their anti-Israeli inclinations highly unfair, insensitive, and often verging on outright Judeophobia. This is unforgivable and insurmountable. It shows a character fault with some of them that they should try to overcome. On the other hand for some reason the Irish are quite popular in Israel. Irish dancing is appreciated and imitation Irish pubs are quite common. Whatever the case, here we have someone (i.e. myself) who is probably of Irish origin having been involved with Irish people, studied aspects of Irish history, and even had a child named (without his input in the naming) after a putative Irish ancestral place of residence. All this occurred with the person in question not knowing until rather late in the day of his probable Irish origins.
Different peoples differ from each other. The differences emanate from innate disposition as much as culture. They create the culture more than the culture makes them. This has been my experience concerning possibly being Irish. Similar anecdotes may be found among people who are of Jewish descent, or German, and did not know it but looking back see they were always somehow in touch with it.