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Argentine President Takes On Godson To Keep Werewolf At Bay

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is seen with members of the Tawil family on Dec. 23. Kirchner embraced their seventh son, Yair, as her godson in line with an Argentine tradition that offers presidential protection to the seventh son in a family with only male children to prevent them from turning into a werewolf.
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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is seen with members of the Tawil family on Dec. 23. Kirchner embraced their seventh son, Yair, as her godson in line with an Argentine tradition that offers presidential protection to the seventh son in a family with only male children to prevent them from turning into a werewolf.

Silver bullets are believed to be among the few effective weapons against werewolves. In Argentina, add presidential protection to that short list.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, in keeping with a longstanding tradition, has embraced a 21-year-old Jewish man as her godson to prevent him from assuming a lycanthropic form.

The root of the story is the mythology of the Guarani people that says the seventh son in a family of only male children will turn into el lobison — a werewolf. This legend prompted some people to abandon — or kill — their seventh-born sons. So, Argentina passed a law in the 1920s that gave the seventh son presidential protection along with a gold medal and a scholarship until his 21st birthday.

At first, that law covered only Catholic families. But in 2009, a presidential decree broadened the law to cover children of other faiths, too.

Kirchner's godson is Yair Tawil, the seventh son of a rabbi, and he's the first Jewish godson of an Argentine president.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

"Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, parents of seven boys, in 1993 wrote a letter to the president asking for the honor and were denied. But this year Yair wrote a letter to the president citing the 2009 decree, and asking for the designation of godson."

Fernandez received Yair, his parents and three of his brothers in her office in Buenos Aires. They lit Hanukkah candles on a menorah the family presented her. Kirchner publicized the event on Twitter, calling the meeting "magical" and the Tawil family "marvelous."

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