Sunday, January 3, 2010

Eighteen Jewish Quotes

As I prepare to leave for Israel, I decided that I should initiate this blog's impending two week hiatus with eighteen parting quotes that accurately reflect how I feel about my own heritage (those of you well-versed in Jewish culture will pick up on the significance of the number 'chai'). They are not listed in any particular order:

"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. "
- George Washington

"The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations."
- John Adams

"No matter how bad things get, you've got to go on living, even if it kills you."
- Sholom Aleichem

“The Jews are members of the human race - worse I can say of no man."
- Mark Twain

"There is not the slightest ground for anti-Semitism among us. It has no place in free America."
- William H. Taft

"My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life. From this has come my sympathy with the downtrodden masses which motivates all my work."
- Diego Rivera

"Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools."
- August Bebel

"I do not recall a Jewish home without a book on the table."
- Elie Wiesel

"Our forces saved the remnants of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I firmly believe that Jewish life, indeed any communal life, can only be organized according to democratic principles."
- Theodore Bikel

"The Jewish people, ever since David slew Goliath, have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership."
- John F. Kennedy

"Do you know most of the Jewish songs have the same trend of sadness as Negro spirituals?"
- Mahalia Jackson

"A Jewish man with parents alive is a fifteen-year-old boy, and will remain a fifteen-year-old boy until they die!"
- Philip Roth

"I'm going to marry a Jewish woman because I like the idea of getting up Sunday morning and going to the deli."
- Michael J. Fox

"I had left home (like all Jewish girls) in order to eat pork and take birth control pills. When I first shared an intimate evening with my husband I was swept away by the passion (so dormant inside myself) of a long and tortured existence. The physical cravings I had tried so hard to deny finally and ultimately sated... but enough about the pork."
- Roseanne Barr

“It’s a heritage to be proud of. And then, too, it’s something that you can’t escape because the world won’t let you; so it’s a good thing you can be proud of it.”
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"I'm short, I'm Jewish and I'm a liberal."
- Paul Wellstone

"Well, I just said that Jesus and I were both Jewish and that neither of us ever had a job, we never had a home, we never married and we traveled around the countryside irritating people."
- Kinky Friedman

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