The Shmooze

8 Reasons Luis Suarez Should Convert to Judaism

By Dan Friedman

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Luis Suarez, right, has been banned from the World Cup for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini/Getty Images

In the most dramatic turn of events at the World Cup in Brazil so far, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez — one of the most talented players of his generation — has been banned from “all football-related activities” for four months for biting the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s June 24 game against Italy.

That means he’ll miss the entire rest of the World Cup.

Here’s why Suarez should use his enforced absence from the beautiful game to join the Chosen People.

1. Chicken soup tastes better than Chiellini’s shoulder.

Obviously Luis Suarez isn’t satisfied with what he’s eating, as he previously bit Branislav Ivanovic on the arm in 2013 and Ottman Bakkal on the neck in 2010. It’s time for some chewy bagels, some delicious chicken soup or a bowl of cholent.

2. He’s part of a plucky minority already

Uruguay is the smallest nation represented at the World Cup Finals in Brazil. Stuck on the coast of South America wedged in between Argentina and Brazil, scant distance from Buenos Aires, Uruguayans are used to being part of an embattled minority already. So nu, Luis, add another embattled minority to your resume.

3. We can help with the overbite

Surely one of the reasons that Suarez keeps biting people is his massive overbite. Perhaps these four months would be a time to get that dental work done. I’m not saying that one of the many excellent American Jewish orthodontists wouldn’t help a non-Jew, but for a fellow Member of the Tribe, perhaps there’s a good deal.

4. We can help with the psychological issues

Another reason that Suarez keeps biting people is that he has some sort of mental disorder. It’s time to seek further psychological help. Again, it’s not that you need to be Jewish to get psychoanalysed, but perhaps it’s time he took that extra step. So, Luis, get on the couch and tell us about your childhood.

5. We have previous successes turning bites to kisses

When Esau reconciles with Jacob — 20 years after Jacob stole his inheritance — Esau kisses him. Rabbinic commentaries suggest that this kiss was an aborted bite, with “the word ‘kiss’ [vayishakeihu] and the word ‘bite’ [vayishakheihu] differing in only one letter.” What a perfect bar mitzvah portion for young Luis.

6. There’s a home for you in Montevideo

Though Jewish history began as early as 1680 in Uruguay’s Colonia, a fortress outpost where both conversos and Marranos lived, and where a mikveh was discovered, Montevideo’s Jewish community is new-ish and could do with an iconic talisman.

7. The symbolic act

I’ve no idea whether Suarez is already circumcised but, given the number of people wanting to kill him, maybe it would be best to channel that physical violence into a ritual of belonging.

8. It’s not just biting

In 2011 Suarez (who has a black grandfather) was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United full back Patrice Evra. What better way of understanding the pain that such abuse could cause than joining another ethnic minority? Maybe he already does have Sephardi blood in him from the many conversos who left the Iberian peninsular for South America. As Suarez turns from aggressor to victim, Abe Foxman would surely be happy to stand by his side — yet another reason to convert.

Come on home, Lewis da Costa-Suarez. You know you were standing at Sinai.

With thanks to Eddy Portnoy


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