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.