[Updated] Argentinian President Adopts Boy to Prevent a Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
This whole premise is sweaty!
Tenía razón. Me trajeron de regalo un candelabro de Israel. Me pidieron que encendiera las velas… pic.twitter.com/DVWewmZera
— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) December 23, 2014
God damn it. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew this premise was sweaty, but they suckered me in with the potential werewolf bar mitzvah jokes and it WORKED.
So, here’s the real story: the myth of the seventh son falling victim to werewolf-hood is a real thing in Argentinian folklore. Seventh sons and daughter are invited to become to honorary godchildren of Argentina’s president, for complete un-werewolf-related reasons. Yair Tawil is, in fact, the first Jewish person to receive this honor. These things are all true—they’re just not related to each other at all, says The Guardian:
According to Argentine historian Daniel Balmaceda, there is no link between the two traditions. “The local myth of the lobizón is not in any way connected to the custom that began over 100 years ago by which every seventh son (or seventh daughter) born in Argentina becomes godchild to the president,” he said.
Of course, maybe that’s what Argentina wants us to think. Has any of us ever seen an Argentinian werewolf? No? Then they must be doing something right.
Shhhhh. I want to believe.
[original post below]
Every country has their own monster folklore, and with it their own methods and traditions for preventing misfortune at the hands of these creatures. In Argentina, apparently, the president regularly adopts children as godsons so they don’t turn into werewolves. No, really—she just did it the other day. And it gets better, nerds! 30 Rock-quoting better!
According to centuries-old folklore, when seven boys are born to a family with no girls in between, the last of these sons undergoes a change on the first friday after his thirteenth birthday, and during every full moon from then on he becomes a werewolf and terrorizes his community at night. The legend was so pervasive in 19th century Argentina that some rural families were actually killing their seventh-born babies, so in 1907 the president began to ceremonially adopt these boys as godsons as a preventative measure—which sounds weird, but remember that our president here in the United States pardons a pair of giant birds every year. The practice was later officially established in an official law in 1973, which also extended the adoption rites to girls as well.
Nowadays, of course, less families are making it to seven kids, so the honor isn’t bestowed as often as it once was—though it also comes with a gold medal and full education scholarship, which you probably need if there are that many children in your family. But Yair Tawil, who was recently adopted by President Christina Fernández de Kirchner, is unique: he’s the first Jewish child to undergo the ceremony, which until 2009 was only available to Catholic children.
The Jewish Telegraph Agency notes:
Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, parents of seven boys, in 1993 wrote a letter to the president asking for the honor and were denied. But this year, Yair wrote a letter to the president citing the 2009 decree and asking for the designation of godson.
On Tuesday, the became the first Jewish godson of a president in Argentina’s history. Fernandez received Yair, his parents and three of his brothers in her office, where they lit Hanukkah candles together.
The president in her tweets and photos described to her 3.4 million Twitter followers a “magical moment” with a “marvelous family.” She described Yair as “a total sweety,” and his mother a “Queen Esther.”
So, just to break it down: this is a Jewish boy who, according to Argentinian tradition, officially became a werewolf right after his thirteenth birthday. Hmmmm. That sounds pretty… well, spooky. Possibly even scary. What does that remind us of? HMMMMMMMMMM.
I’ll be honest, I’m feeling like Liz Lemon that time she realized she was getting a real-life Mamma Mia. Mazel tov, dummies!