Argentina President Adopts Jewish 'Werewolf'

Move keeps country safe from 'el Lobizon'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2014 2:58 AM CST
Updated Dec 29, 2014 7:33 AM CST
Argentina President Adopts Jewish 'Werewolf'
Fernandez lights a menorah with the boy's family.   (Office of the President)

Argentina's president has a new godson and the country remains safe from ravenous, flesh-eating mythical beings. According to folklore, a family's seventh son in a row turns into a werewolf-like creature called a "Lobizon" on his 13th birthday and feasts on the flesh of unbaptized babies and the recently dead every full moon. In the days when seventh sons were a lot more common, some were abandoned or even killed out of fear of the Lobizon, and President Cristina Fernandez adopted Yair Tawil under a law that was brought in early last century to combat the superstition by having all seventh sons officially adopted by the president, according to the Independent. Under the law, sons—and, since 1974, daughters—not only have the president as an official godparent, but receive a gold medal and a full scholarship for all studies until their 21st birthday

The law used to only apply to Catholic children, and Yair is the first Jewish male adopted after a change to the law in 2009, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The Guardian, however, says the law and the tradition are unconnected to the Lobizon legend, citing a local historian who says it began in 1907 with the son of Volga German immigrants who wanted to maintain "a custom from Czarist Russia, where the Czar was said to become godfather to seventh sons." But there may have been some mixing of European and Argentinian werewolf legends: According to records from the state where the 1907 adoption took place, the couple "brought the belief that the seventh son becomes a werewolf at the full moon." (Scientists say the full moon does actually take a toll on us.)

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