Here's a question sent in by a reader (remember when my blog was all about sending in your questions instead of me just complaining about my job and stuff? Let's try to get back to that shall we?)
Do you have any idea of where the term "the wandering jew" came from?
I had some ideas about where the phrase came from having heard it many times myself.
The fact that the Jews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after being freed from their enslavement in Egypt (as told in the book of Exodus) seemed a likely source.
Or perhaps it was a reference to the fact that Jews have been driven out of the countries in which they have settled many time over the course of history.
According to Answers.com, however, I was way off base:
Wandering Jew, in literary and popular legend, a Jew who mocked or mistreated Jesus while he was on his way to the cross and who was condemned therefore to a life of wandering on earth until Judgment Day. The story of this wanderer was first recorded in the chronicles of Roger of Wendover and Matthew of Paris (13th cent.), but not until the early 17th cent. was he identified as a Jew. The story is common in Western Europe, but it presents marked national variations. ...
So apparently this is a Christian myth or legend which would probably explain why I had not heard it before, and also why I will not be using the expression henceforth now that I know what it means :-)