The White Jew

The White Jew

This is the age of the White Jew. I have come to resent, if only because of their number, the hordes of outsiders who clamor fox admission to the clan. It is sad but true that this year everyone chooses the chosen people. The American Leopold Bloom pops up again and again these days, queer, compassionate, forgiving, and alone. He is a guest at cocktail parties everywhere but can be seen most clearly through the windows of countless city bedrooms, his (often) young body bent in rigid attitudes of love. He is now called Seymour Glass but, as his admirers imply, his real name is Hamlet and he is a prince.

The term “white Jew” (pronounced hwatt jeeoo) is not unknown in this country; it has been used in certain circles to mean a Jew who lacks the offensive traits of his tribe, a Jew, in other words, who looks and behaves like a “hwatt mayun.” The hero of this piece, the White Jew (pronounced white Jew), is cut from a different bolt of cloth altogether. With apologies to Norman Mailer, I use the phrase because it seems to express conveniently a number of attributes of the would-be lover I shall presently describe.

White Jew, even in the sense meant here, is not an entirely new expression. In re...

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