by: Howard Nemerov

                    You’ve lost your religion, the Rabbi said.

                    It wasn’t much to keep, said I.

                    You should affirm the spirit, said he,

                    And the comm~tal solidarity.

                    I don’t feel so solid, I said.

                              We are the people of the Book, the Rabbi said.

                              Not of the phone book, said I.

                              Ours is a great tradition, said he,

                              And a wonderful history.

                              But history’s over, I said.

                                         We Jews are creative people, the Rabbi said.

                                         Make something, then, said I.

                                         In science and in art, said he,

                                         Violinists and physicists have we.

                                         Fiddle and physic indeed, I said.

                                                   Stubborn and stiff-necked man!

                                                    the Rabbi cried.

                                                   The pain you give me, said I

                                                   Instead of bowing down, said he,

                                                   You go on in your obstinacy.

                                                   We Jews are that way, I replied.

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