Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Susan Bernstein
Jewish Pavilion program director 

The origins of mahjong


Mahjong was the popular game played by my mother and most Jewish woman of her generation. I heard somewhere that it originated in China and that Chinese men are those who have played it religiously. Only recently was I given an article from Newsweek magazine by June Brown, a resident of Cascade Heights, describing the true nature of the game. It stated, “Mahjong was not invented by the Chinese, but by the Jews in early Palestine. The game began about the year 200 BCE among the more assimilated Jews, but was frowned on as a sinister debauchery by the ‘good’ Jews of Judea and Galilee....

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