I EXPLAIN DARWIN TO THE REBBE
The old man and I sit on the porch- -
It is Indian summer and the weather
lures us with our books outside.
And the madness of the season
makes me stop the lesson of Bereisheit
with- -"Rebbe, what do you think of Darwin?"
The rabbi of the "Kippele" shul knows no English- -
we discuss the Bible in Mamme-loshen.
And what has he read
that he should know of "The Origin of Species"
So he asks me to explain- -and I do- -
in my most grown up eleven year old tone- -
about the apes, the jungle, survival
of the fittest.
It is eleven years since the Holocaust.
In the twilight he is silent, rocking
very slightly as he arranges his decision.
"Bobbe Meisses," he says, and I nod,
suddenly in revelation.
"You learn what you must for school
but of course no one can really
believe in such stories."
From Ignorant Armies