Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

“The Conversion of the Jews”…..By Philip Roth

“The Conversion of the Jews”…..By Philip Roth

You’re a real one for opening your mouth in the first place,” Itzie said. “What do you open your mouth all the time for?”  “I didn’t bring it up, Itz, I didn’t,” Ozzie said.  “What do you care about Jesus Christ for anyway?” “I didn’t bring up Jesus Christ. He did. I didn’t even know what he was talking about. Jesus is historical, he kept saying. Jesus is historical.” Ozzie mimicked the monumental voice of Rabbi Binder. “Jesus was a person that lived like you and me,” Ozzie continued. “That’s what Binder said—”

“Yea? . . . So what! What do I give two cents whether he lived or not. And what do you gotta open your mouth!” Itzie Lieberman favored closed-mouthedness, especially when it came to Ozzie Freedman’s questions. Mrs. Freedman had to see Rabbi Binder twice before about Ozzie’s questions and this Wednesday at four-thirty would be the third time. Itzie preferred to keep his mother in the kitchen; he settled for behind-the-back subtleties such as gestures, faces, snarls and other less delicate barnyard noises.

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