Philip Roth is considered one of the great American Jewish novelists – including Portnoy’s Complaint, The Human Stain, American Pastoral, The Plot Against America. However, my favorite Roth work is a 1959 short story that is often overlooked and forgotten … perhaps because it is about a taboo subject in Judaism which is remarkable considering some of the topics which Roth covered – the attack on the stereotypical Jewish mother, hidden and overt forms of racism, anti-Semitism, etc.
However … Roth’s story “The Conversion of the Jews” is not simply about a group of Jewish people believing in Jesus as Messiah but also about believing the idea that a … virgin could actually have a baby! Shocking … I KNOW!
Can I guess some of the responses you are having right about now?
- Wait … a virgin and a baby. That sounds just like that “Christian belief” and Jewish people don’t believe in that … right?
- Wait … I heard back when I was going to Shabbat School or from one of those Chabad guys in college that Christians had really messed up the Hebrew and it really doesn’t mean what they say … right?
- Who cares … but ice cream sounds really good right about now.
Before you go get some ice cream (FYI – I like a double scoop of pistachio and peppermint chip) … would you give us two minutes to respond?