Arts & Culture
As It Is Written: Deciphering The Penmanship of Jewish Innovators
A while back, my office received a large shipment of books courtesy of The Jewish Book Council, and of the entire batch, I was most excited to get my hands on the gem that is The Genius of Jewish Celebrities: … Read More
A while back, my office received a large shipment of books courtesy of The Jewish Book Council, and of the entire batch, I was most excited to get my hands on the gem that is The Genius of Jewish Celebrities: What Their Handwriting Reveals by Dr. Robert Yaronne. Luckily for me, the book is exactly what it boasts: an in-depth handwriting analysis of famous Jews. Goldie Hawn’s illegible signature means she "feels the need to hide her true identity" and Ben Stiller’s backwards ‘n’ stroke "suggests a capacity for self-deprecation." To his credit, Yaronne manages to move past the superficial and devotes a whole section of the book to philosophers and another to scientists. The Ba’al Shem Tov’s Hebrew ‘L’ indicates he was able to keep thoughts to himself, where Isaac Bashevis Singer’s open ‘B’ reveals that he had a talkative and open personality. Need more examples? Here is the page devoted to Diva-with-a-capital-D Bette Midler:
Sure, it might sound silly, but it is delightful. Dr. Yaronne’s observations are spot on, nearly to the point of being unbelievable. He is clearly an intuitive and talented analyst. The book itself is vibrant and engaging, and (most importantly) quite fun to read.
After flipping through Genius, I knew exactly what I had to do: get the good doctor to analyze 3 samples, given to him anonymously, that I had gotten from notable Jewish innovators. I sent a request to Yaronne’s representative in earnest, and was delighted when he agreed to go along with my little experiment. So how did the Doctor’s analysis measure up to reality? Let’s see: You may know Ariel Beery as the co-director of PresenTense, an organization that fosters young Jewish innovators and pioneers. All of the reports I got from Yaronne were lengthy, so I will excerpt them here:
"The handwriting is very intense, speedy and goal-oriented. This person is in a high IQ bracket. The person’s intensity might call for action. People around this person may get fatigued simply from the sheer volume of the thinking and enthusiasm. The thinking is a mixture of various cognitive styles: sharp analytical style on one side, and intuitive break on the other hand. One part of this person figures problems in sequential logic, while the other allows for brilliant, out-of-the-blue flashes of ingenuity to go through."
The sample below is from Aaron Bisman, fearless leader of JDub Records (and my boss!), a non-profit music and events company that works with artists like Balkan Beat Box, Michael Showalter and The Sway Machinery. Here’s what Yaronne had to say about Aaron:
"The person likes to be precise and exact when providing facts. This accurateness in the thinking is accompanied with down-to-earth practical intelligence. In addition, there are indications of some nice spirituality in the person. The handwriting also suggests that the person is highly ambitious."
"The quality of the ‘ i’ indicates a person who is not show-offish. Instead, what you see is what you get."
The third and final sample comes from Sandy Cardin, president of The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The foundation is "dedicated to helping the Jewish people flourish by supporting programs throughout the world that spread the joy of Jewish living, giving and learning." I don’t know Sandy personally, but let’s see what Yaronne thinks he knows about Mr. Cardin:
"The handwriting is extremely small and connected. This person is in the highest bracket of the I.Q level."
"What is unusual for a person of very high intelligence, this person also displays a very dynamic emotional life."
"The handwriting is extremely right-slanted, which is a sure indicator of a person who is socially oriented and needs to connect to other people. At the same time, however, there is need for one’s own space. From the way the person keeps the right margin we learn that [Sandy] is considerate of other people."
So, how precise were Yaronne’s dissections? The only people that can truly gauge their accuracy are the subjects themselves; though, reading the entire report was quite an eye-opener! Still, thinking further, I find these things to be a bit like astrology or fortune-telling, where readers, seers and mystics provide generalizations that nearly anyone could identify with. But don’t let me ruin your fun; i’ve always been quite the skeptic. Disagree? Want more? The Genius of Jewish Celebrities: What Their Handwriting Reveals will be published in March 2010 and is available for preorder on Amazon.