—Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant
Reading this just now reminded me of Things All Jewish Children Know. This book, written by me, is four pages long. It goes like this:
Page One. Israel is a very small country surrounded on all sides by enemies. (Note: Don’t shoot the messenger.)
Page Two. One piece of matzah is worth three pieces of bread.
Page Three. Hanukkah is a very minor holiday.
Page Four: Appendix. Remarks of Cathy’s grandmother, lifelong resident of Flushing and Brooklyn, on the election of George W. Bush, 2000: “He’s no friend to the Jews, that’s for sure.”
Also, a favorite Philip Roth moment: Mickey Sabbath imagining his censorious New York Times obituary, including the subheadings Pig or Perfectionist?, First Whore Mean, and Did Nothing For Israel.