He was a jew

Ithaca offers a highly ambiguous account of Bloom's ethnicity, as filtered through his thoughts about what Stephen thinks of him: "He thought that he thought that he was a jew whereas he knew that he knew that he knew that he was not." Is the novel's protagonist Jewish? Ulysses makes this question surprisingly difficult to answer, toying with the reader by throwing out seemingly contradictory evidence. The effect is to raise questions about the essential nature of Jewishness, and about human cultural identities in general.

John Hunt 2017

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, 1878 oil on canvas painting of Ashkenazi Jews of late 19th century Eastern Europe by Maurycy Gottlieb held in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Rosh Hashana offset color lithograph postcard from the early 1900s showing Russian Jews gazing, packs in hand, at American Jews beckoning them to the United States. The eagle of the Russian empire has condoned pogroms. The American eagle holds a banner with the legend "Shelter us in the shadow of your wings" (Psalms 17:8). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

WWI-era British recruiting poster from Canada showing a Jewish man eager to join the war effort who says, "You have cut my bonds and set me free - now let me help you set others free!" At the top are three Jewish members of the British parliament. Source: Wikimedia Commons.