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Alanis Morissette Discovers Her Jewish Roots And History Of Her Family’s Holocaust

Singer Alanis Morissette only discovered her Jewish ancestry in her late 20s, and she is now delving deeper into her family's history. She appeared on Season 10 of ‘Finding Your Roots’ on Tuesday.

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette, the alt-rock icon whose voice roared with raw emotion on "You Oughta Know," has embarked on a new journey of self-discovery. On the season premiere of PBS's Finding Your Roots, she unearthed a hidden chapter in her family history, shedding light on her Jewish heritage and confronting the scars of the Holocaust that had been shrouded in silence for generations.

This journey wasn't a mere stroll down memory lane. It was a confrontation with trauma, a reclamation of identity, and an emotional rollercoaster that brought the singer face-to-face with the unimaginable resilience of her ancestors.

Growing up, Morissette was unaware of her Jewish lineage. Her parents, driven by the fear of antisemitism and the generational pain of their own parents, shielded their children from this part of their story. Yet, the singer always felt a magnetic pull towards Judaism, drawn to its traditions and rituals like a moth to a flame.

Finding Your Roots unveiled a truth that resonated deeply. Morissette learned that her maternal grandfather, Imre Feuerstein, managed to escape the Holocaust in Hungary, a feat of unthinkable courage in the face of unimaginable horror. But the shadow of loss loomed large. Two of Imre's brothers, Gyorgy and Sandor, vanished into the abyss of "work camps," leaving behind a gaping wound in the family narrative.

The show delved into Yad Vashem archives, revealing a grim reality. Gyorgy and Sandor weren't sent to work camps; they were condemned to a fate far worse - death in Russian slave labor camps. This painful truth, though heartbreaking, brought a certain clarity. It filled in the blanks of an incomplete story, offering closure and allowing Morissette to truly understand the burden her grandfather carried.

Imre's unwavering hope amidst such profound loss resonated deeply with Morissette. She discovered that he never stopped searching for his brothers, meticulously pursuing them through the Red Cross even years after the war ended. This act of defiance, a refusal to succumb to despair, spoke volumes about the strength that ran through her family's veins.

Yet, amidst the tragedy, there was also beauty. As Morissette delved deeper into her Jewish heritage, she felt a sense of belonging, a homecoming she hadn't even realized she was yearning for. "I had no idea how super Jewish I am," she confessed, her voice brimming with newfound pride. Judaism, once veiled in mystery, became a source of embrace, a rich tapestry woven into the fabric of her being.

This journey of self-discovery wasn't merely personal; it resonated with Morissette's artistic spirit. Her upcoming Triple Moon Tour, a musical odyssey spanning North America, takes on a new layer of meaning in light of her ancestral journey. It's a celebration of resilience, a testament to the human spirit's ability to rise from the ashes, and a poignant ode to the newfound warmth of her rediscovered heritage.

Alanis Morissette's story is a reminder that the past, however painful, can be a potent source of strength and identity. It's a testament to the enduring power of family, the unwavering flame of hope even in the darkest of times, and the beautiful, unexpected joys of homecoming. As she embarks on the next chapter of her life, both personally and musically, one thing is certain: Alanis Morissette, the woman who bared her soul on "Jagged Little Pill," has found a new depth, a new resonance, in the melody of her rediscovered roots.