1 August, 1902
Rebbe Weinstock is kind to me. In the evening when the day is done, he calls me into his study. He asks me read aloud to him. Correcting my accent and teaching me some American history in the process. We have read about President Theodore Roosevelt who was born here in New York City and the assassination of his predecessor, William McKinley, by Leon Czolgosz, a Polack and an anarchist. The Rebbe says that to become an American we must learn about America, so he teaches me.
He is also teaching me something of his Native tongue, that being Yiddish. I already know more than a handful of words: schmuck, schmendrik, shande, schmegegge, shiksa, shaigitz and more. I asked him, “does all Yiddish start with the ‘sh’ sound?’ He laughed and patted me on the head.
The Rebbe is teaching me, too, of the Jew Bible, which the Yids call the Torah. Their Bible is our Bible, too or at least the beginning, after which we added to it, the Kikes unable to regard the coming of Christ as anything of importance, failing to recognize it for what it was and so, not writing it down. Is this why they have been condemned to wander ceaselessly with the Mark of Cain and the blood of our Father on their hands?
Mrs. Weinstock too is generous with her time. Though it reddens me to go with her shopping for her Sabbath meal, which they call Shabbos—another Sh-word, I do learn from seeing how a Jewess buys provisions. She argues, she bickers, she pesters, she walks out of the store, until she gets exactly the piece of fish she wants or the chicken or meat. With everything she is that way, from the fabric she buys down on Orchard Street, to the pickles she takes home from a wooden barrel placed on a sidewalk also on Orchard. Everything is a negotiation, she tells me.
Though the Rebbe and Mrs. Weinstock are in America only a short few years longer than me, they know so much more than I do and I am learning from them. As they would say, it is a mitzvah (italics added) that I have met them.
More later, Diary.