Borat Makes Teshuva
By Shmarya Rosenberg
Special to the Jewish Chronicle
London – Kazakh news presenter Borat Sagdiyev, under fire from Jewish groups including the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his outspoken antisemitism, racism and misogyny, has Jewish roots, the Chronicle has learned. Borat’s maternal grandmother, variously identified as Svetalna or Svet (“because she dripped much,” Borat has said) is the daughter of a scion of an illustrious rabbinic family exiled to Kazakhstan during the reign of Josef Stalin, the brutal Soviet dictator Borat admires and has referred to as “strong, powerful with big khram,” or testicles.
When confronted by the Chronicle in early July with evidence of Jewish descent, Borat at first denied any connection with Jews. Indeed, over tea at the Chronicle offices, Borat impulsively snatched a small paper Israeli flag off a reporter’s birthday cake and lit it on fire while singing the Kazakh national anthem with great fervor.
But, as time wore on Borat warmed to the idea and accompanied this reporter on a low-key trip to Israel. Impressed with what he saw, Borat has decided to live an openly Jewish life. On our return to London, Borat was interviewed by the Chronicle’s senior correspondent, Jenny Frazier.
JF: First of all, I’d like to welcome you to the Jewish people. We’re pleased to have you with us.
Borat: You welcome very nice, but in my country relative get hug and squeeze melons. Maybe you lean forward?
JF: I don’t think so. Judaism has a concept of modesty. Many men and women never touch until they marry.
Borat: Yes. I hear this. Very hard.
JF: Yes it is.
Borat: You have one, too? [Staring intently at Frazier’s chest] They look real!
JF: So what is it that attracted you to Judaism?
JF: How’s that?
Borat: They are very much like Kazakhs. Family important. It everything. And, they don’t work, just like us. And they treat their women as cows. Oh, and they steal from government just like us.
JF: Surely you found other less repressive things to like about Israel?
Borat: Sure. Borat like big weapons. Many soldiers. Certain little children. And one sheep.
JF: If I’m understanding you correctly, it is the power of Israel that attracts you, the machismo, so to speak?
Borat: Yup. It’s a country with big – what is word? – ah, yes, Borat remember, beitzim. We call them khram. I show you. [He begins to stand up.]
JF: I don’t think so.
Borat: Very big.
JF: I’m sure.
Borat: [He sits down] For country with such khram, you have leader who is khram-less…
JF: Well, the situation is quite complex …
Borat: … except for his nose. He have one khram, from which he breathe, unless he have cold and it stuffed. President on other hand have many powerful khram. He is Stalin of Israel, like iron god. Many in my village now worship him.
JF: So, did you see Tel Aviv, the first modern Jewish city? How did you like that?
Borat: Much. Many beautiful women of which I licked.
JF: You liked them?
Borat: I lick them. Like this. [Borat grabs Frazier’s arm and licks it, starting at the wrist and ending at the outer biceps, just below the shoulder.] It is Kazakh greeting … you taste like apple.
JF: Thank you.
Borat: Israeli girl taste like grandmother – sweat. They drip much due to heat.
JF: So you liked Israeli women?
Borat: Yes. Good taste and not much money to buy. I had sexy wet time often.
JF: Do you plan on returning there?
Borat: Yes. I make TV show for Kazakhstan. Show how Jews really are. Salty women. Good taste. I also go back to study Holy books.
JF: So you have plans?
Borat: I go to Aish HaTorah for mind control.
JF: Then what?
Borat: I marry haredi girl. They promise me 12 year old. I ask for 8, but they say I can’t touch her until she 12. Not even licking. Then I get on kollel roster. My wife have many babies. I use kollel money for prostitute, because wife grow fat from babies. But after prostitute I go to mikva.
JF: Why? To clean yourself from sin?
Borat: No. To rub with little boys, just like rabbi from New York. Life is good.