THE BROTHERS BERG - excerpt
MORRIS: (pointing to someone in the audience)
Why do I hate the Jews? I do not hate Jews. Didn't I just tell you of their idealism. Some of my best friends are Jewish. Even my dear brother is Jewish. It is not so uncommon to exploit the foibles of one's people. Sholom Rabinowitz did it. You know him as Sholem Aleichem. And beautifully, I might add. You should all read him. Of course he was a kinder, gentler man than I, besides being a better writer. Read Isaac Bashevis Singer too, Sholom's heir. Definitely superior to me. I have a nasty streak. Possibly genetic, possibly because the Lord gave me the wrong body. I was supposed to have your rabbi's. Next question.
Please don't shout out. I didn't recognize you. There are other hands up too. What's that...why do I hate Jews? Don't you listen? I just answered that question. I didn't? I did. (pause) If you're so persistent, why don't you ask the sixty four thousand dollar question. Why have the Jews been hated for two thousand years? I'll tell you why. It's in the Bible. The Jews are the chosen people. God pays minute attention to them. When they are good, Joshua blows his bugle and the walls fall down. When they are bad, it rains for forty days and forty nights. If the Jews took that as just good story telling - like they take the Jesus story - maybe they wouldn't have been so harassed. But no - they have chosen to believe it and, despite exile, torture, revilement, they have clung to their basic belief as chosen by God. Well, do you wonder? Do you wonder that the people of this world - other than Jews - resent one group boasting that they - only they - are so special. What do you do with such a people - filthy bearded rabbis dovining and dovining, immersed in the Torah. Chosen? You make them money lenders; you put them in a ghetto; you make them wear a yellow star; you send them to Auschwitz!
(MORRIS stops, astonished at his own words. He gasps for breath. Walter gets up and takes him in his arms)
(cries of shame, shame from the audience)
MORRIS: Walter...I didn't mean...
WALTER: it's all right.
MORRIS: No, I didn't mean...