Q. Did Shakespeare really write his plays?
A. I was tempted to say, “How should I know?” – and to add that this isn’t a question for a rabbi. Then I decided that it is part of a problem that has plagued Jews and Judaism for centuries. Put simply, the problem is, “Are things always what they seem?”
Satan hauls Job up before God and says the supposed righteous man is only a fair-weather tzaddik. God Himself doesn’t get off scot-free since long before Job, Abraham wonders if the Judge of all the earth isn’t really rather unjust. Solomon is accused of lending his name to various books which were only included in the scriptures because of his supposed authorship.
Shakespeare’s plays were, some say, really by Christopher Marlowe (I don’t know whether it makes it better or worse to hear some Jews say that Marlowe was really Jewish). A famous cantor was really a womaniser. It goes on and on. Then come the revisionists: the Jews are an inferior race, there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, there wasn’t a Holocaust, the Zionists plotted 9/11. The Jews and Israel suffer constantly from propagandist distorters who peddle their stuff all over the world and so many people believe them.
Did Shakespeare write his plays? Are things what they seem? An educated generation should look into the facts for themselves, and not listen to those who say, “Don’t confuse me with the facts – my mind’s made up!”