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Argentina's President "Adopted" A Jewish Godson

Argentina's presidents have a tradition of adopting the seventh son in a family in a tradition linked to folklore that states the child would turn into a werewolf-like creature.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 1:03 p.m. ET

Posted on December 29, 2014, at 11:09 a.m. ET

Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced on Dec. 23 that she had adopted a young Jewish man as her godson.

Photo by Charly Diaz Azcue/LatinContent / Getty Images

The Argentine president will become the official godparent of any family that has seven sons or daughters. The tradition dates back to 1907. In 1973, the Argentine government extended it to baby girls.

Mágico fue recibir a Iair Tawil, 1er ahijado presidencial de nuestra historia que profesa la fe judía.

Cristina Kirchner@CFKArgentinaFollow

Mágico fue recibir a Iair Tawil, 1er ahijado presidencial de nuestra historia que profesa la fe judía.

6:11 PM - 23 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Yair Tawil, Kirchner’s newest godson, is the first Jewish person to be adopted, however. Kirchner said the tradition only included Catholics until 2009.

Yo no lo sabía, pero su visita coincidía con la celebración de Hanukkah. El papá, decía que no era una casualidad…

Cristina Kirchner@CFKArgentinaFollow

Yo no lo sabía, pero su visita coincidía con la celebración de Hanukkah. El papá, decía que no era una casualidad…

6:14 PM - 23 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

According to Argentine folklore, the seventh son of a family will turn into a werewolf-like creature called "el lobizón" when he turns 13. The lobizón feeds on excrement and unbaptized babies.

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The ceremony began in 1907 in an effort to demystify the folklore and prevent the abuse of children, but has since become a time-honored tradition. The adoption ceremony also includes a gold medal and a full educational scholarship.

Tenía razón. Me trajeron de regalo un candelabro de Israel. Me pidieron que encendiera las velas…

Cristina Kirchner@CFKArgentinaFollow

Tenía razón. Me trajeron de regalo un candelabro de Israel. Me pidieron que encendiera las velas…

6:14 PM - 23 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The boy's parents, Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, had written the president's office requesting the adoption in 1993, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

Y a Iair, que hiciera el rezo. Un momento muy especial. Después me dijeron que tenía que apagarlas y pedir un deseo…

Cristina Kirchner@CFKArgentinaFollow

Y a Iair, que hiciera el rezo. Un momento muy especial. Después me dijeron que tenía que apagarlas y pedir un deseo…

11:15 PM - 23 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Local Argentine historian Daniel Balmaceda told The Guardian that the presidential godson tradition isn't about werewolves. Balmaceda said the tradition actually dates back to a Czarist Russian practice where the Tsar would be the godfather to the seventh son of a family. The practice is linked to a European folktale about the seventh son of a family becoming a werewolf.

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