Baruch Dayan MCA

Half Jewish Beastie Boy Adam Nathaniel Yauch (aka MCA, aka Nathaniel Hornblower) has passed away after a three year battle with cancer. He was 47. He was a practicing Bhuddist and active in many Tibetan causes. His passing comes a moth after the seminal hip hop act was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Share your Beastie Boys thoughts in the comments.

6 Responses to “Baruch Dayan MCA”

  1. Can we not use the term “half Jewish”? I don’t find it blanketly offensive, but I think it would be great for jewschool to take on the perspective that people who claim Jewishness are Jews regardless of one parent or two. It’s not like you can split someone in half and say that one part of it is Jewish.

    Prefer instead: mixed heritage Jew, which doesn’t imply “less Jewish.” There may be other equally good terms.


    Jacob · May 8th, 2012 at 10:29 am
  2. Jacob, so what should we do with people who refer to themselves as half-Jewish? Or claim half-Jewishness?

    ML · May 8th, 2012 at 7:44 pm
  3. Yauch professed Buddhism so perhaps Ju-bu would be okay…

    Adam · May 9th, 2012 at 3:34 am
  4. Did Yauch consider himself Jewish? I agree that half-Jewish doesn’t make sense.

    KRG · May 9th, 2012 at 8:27 am
  5. Nominally Jewish? Born to a half-Jewish family? Loved by Jews? Part of a seminal musical act with mass Jewish appeal? Point is, he died, no more MCA.

    Adam · May 9th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
  6. Adam, Yes, I understand that MCA died, it was a loss for all of us. Thanks for posting about it, it’s how I found out.
    (I’m just using the language piece as a way to start a conversation that I think is important. I don’t think that you did something wrong.)

    re: ML’s, what if they claim half-jew?

    So let them claim it. I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong, people create all kinds of identities out of all kinds of things.

    Let’s consider another term that has been reclaimed (for some) from the fires of oppression: fag.
    I know people who call themselves fags (accompanied by some bitter irony). This isn’t “good” or “bad”, but it’s within the framework of the stigmatizing of gay people. So I can be thoughtful about that and and what I call gay folks. And at the same time I can recognize that people claiming an identity might mean different things for them. Obviously many “in-groups” call themselves many things, that people in an outside group can’t really call them. [right, Heebs?]

    So this thought train leaves me with the question: in what ways can claiming “half-Jew” increase a person’s sense of self, sense of their own possibilities?

    Some people have used the term in order to explore mixed heritage identity:

    I hear it most often as a term people use who have been held off at arm’s length from the Jewish community, as in, “are you jewish?” “No, I’m half.” or, “Kind of, I’m half.”

    But for those of us digging deeper into the issues around identity, this is a great place to dig in. The point isn’t to “correct” anyone on their own identity. The point is to hold out the perspective that that person can be completely central, welcome and wanted within the Jewish community, along with their mixed heritages. (I think there is a parallel conversation, more complicated in some sense, around jews-by-choice.)

    I’d be curious to hear from mixed heritage people on their relationship with the term.

    Jacob · May 10th, 2012 at 10:11 am

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik