Несколько отрывков из читаемой сейчас книги о выдающемся еврейском ученом Луи Гинцберге, обладавшем, помимо прочих достоинств, неплохим чувством юмора и весьма злым языком.
Хотя Гинцберг связал свою судьбу не с ортодоксальным иудаизмом, до конца своих дней он оставался человеком традиционным и благочестивым. Поэтому, поддерживая деловые и даже хорошие личные отношения со многими раввинами-реформистами - не испытывал никаких иллюзий и не скрывал своего мнения об их религии.
Вот несколько соответствующих анекдотов:
He told the story, but it was clearly distasteful to him and therefore not part of his repertoire, of a dinner he had one Friday evening shortly after his arrival in this coun try at the home of one of New York’s leading rabbis. He did not know the names of all of the forbidden dishes which were placed before him, but he recognized the main course, lobster, and knew that he could eat nothing other than the dessert, which was ice-cream. The leaders of Reform Juda ism in those days were not satisfied with breaking the laws and disregarding the customs and traditions. They were belligerent in their attitudes and behavior. They were deter mined to prove their emancipation by going out of their way to break the law.
My father continued to write pieces for the Frankfurter Zeitung, and in one he told about his visit to a house of worship in the new land. He remarked that the architecture, external and internal, was not distinctive, and that he was unable to determine the religion of the worshippers. After inspecting the prayer book, he was not much wiser because, while it consisted primarily of selections from the Old Testament, these were part of the religious tradition of Catholicism, Protestantism, and even Mohammedism, as well as of Judaism. Nor was there any clue in the appearance of the minister. He had on clerical robes and wore no hat, and his attire was not distinctive. He was clean shaven, but that also was not revealing. But when the minister began to preach about Jesus, my father wrote, he realized that he was in a synagogue, for Jesus was no longer a fashionable subject in church.
Jewish life in the United States held many surprises for young Ginzberg. He had some business to transact with [reform rabbi] Kohler, and went down to the Encyclopedia office one Sun day morning in search of him. There he was informed that Kohler was conducting services. Ginzberg went to the Temple. After services, Kohler remarked that he was surprised to find Ginzberg in a Reform temple, and quoted a rabbinic phrase about the Prophet Elijah being found in a cemetery, although as a member of a priestly family he was forbidden to come into contact with the dead. My father was quick to retort that there was no violation of the laws of purity in either situation—Elijah had not been in a Jewish cemetery, and he had not been in a Jewish house of worship!
Ну и для равновесия - еще один анекдот, на сей раз, наоборот, о гипер-традиционалистах. Судя по тому, что аз, многогрешный, слышал об израильских тюрьмах и их насельниках - достаточно жизненный:
My father had become acquainted with Dr. Davidson some time earlier when he was serving as Chaplain at Sing Sing and had sponsored his appointment. On one occasion my father visited Davidson at the prison. It was shortly after the High Holidays. Davidson took him through a block of cells so that he could talk with the prisoners. One complained bitterly to my father about Dr. Davidson’s having omitted certain prayers during ser vices on the Day of Atonement. My father reported this conversation to Davidson, who told him that this particular prisoner had been committed to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of his wife.