I am never more of a Jew than I am

in a church when the hymnal organ begins to sound.

I may be estranged at the Wailing Wall but without

being a stranger — I stand outside but not shut out,

and even the most ludicrous encounter serves to gauge, rather

than to sever, my affiliation with people I am unlike.

But between me and church devotion there is an unbridgeable

world of feeling, a natural and thoroughgoing incompatibility — I have

the emotions of a spy in the adversary’s camp overseeing

rites associated with the ideology responsible for persecuting countless Jews.


Paraphrases from the novel The Counterlife by Philip Roth.