Monday, May 12, 2008

Works Cited

Like the Druzes, like the moon, like death, like next week, the distant past is one of those things that can enrich ignorance. It is infinitely malleable and agreeable, far more obliging than the future and far less demanding of our efforts. It is the famous season favored by all mythologies.

Who has not, at one point or another, played with thoughts of his ancestors, with the prehistory of his flesh and blood? I have done so many times, and many times it has not displeased me to think of myself as Jewish. It is an idle hypothesis, a frugal and sedentary adventure that harms no one, not even the name of Israel, as my Judaism is wordless, like the songs of Mendelssohn. The magazine Crisol, in its issue of January 30, decided to gratify my retrospective hope; it speaks of my "Jewish ancestry, maliciously hidden" (the participle and the adverb amaze and delight me)...

Two hundred years and I can't find the Israelite; two hundred years and my ancestor still eludes me.

I am grateful for the stimulus provided by Crisol, but hope is dimming that I will ever be able to discover my link to the Table of Breads and the Sea of Bronze; to Hein, Gleizer, and the ten Sefiroth; to Ecclesiastes and Chaplin.

Jorge Luis Borges, I, a Jew

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