Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jewish Guilt versus Goyim Guilt

Years ago I was in Boston for Christmas. My mother requested her prodigal son attend church with her. I had been a non-believer since the age of 8, but I respected her faith and said, "Sure.”

I dressed in a dark-gray suit with a black cashmere polo shirt. I looked good in the mirror. My mother came into the room and asked, “Where’s your tie?”

“Mom, this shirt is pure cashmere.”

“But what about a tie?” My mother was old school.

“You can’t wear a tie with a polo shirt.” I had worn a tie every day at Our Lady of the Foothills.

My mother frowned with disappointment. She believed in presenting a good image and hated my rejection of her god.

“I hope at my funeral you’ll wear a tie.” The words were drenched in sadness.

Ridden with guilt I changed my shirt and put on a tie. Saying no to my mother was difficult, especially with tears in her eyes.

When I related this story to the mother of my diamond employer, Hilda, she tsked and said, “That’s the difference between Jews and goyim.”

“What?” Her son and I were befuddled by Hilda’s statement.

“You mother simply asked for you to wear a tie at her funeral, if it had been me I would have said, “Once you kill me, I want you to wear a tie to the funeral.”

“Aha.” Richie Boy and I replied for Hilda had explained the true depth of Jewish guilt in a single sentence.


We were all bad boys, except to our mothers.

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