Monday, February 23, 2015

  • Monday, February 23, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Continuing on our month of Adar theme of jokes about Jews in the 19th century, here's one from 1859:

Not long ago, in one of the obscure streets of a city not far from our own, a son of the Emerald Isle by birth, and a son of the sea by trade, was on his bed to die. The priest had been sent for, and was ready to administer the last rites of the Church to the dying seaman so soon as he should confess his sins. But Patrick had none of that kind of thing to boast of; indeed he said that, to the best of his recollection, he had no sins to confess at all, at all. He had been a sailor, he said, and had done his duty—swearing a little, and drinking his grog as well as the next man ; but he had always come to time in a fight, and was never licked in his life, so that, for his part, he did not believe he had any thing on his mind to be sorry for; and so, please your riverence, let me off easy, and if you can’t let me off easy, let me off as easy as you can.”

“ Bethink thee again, my son,” said the priest. “ Has no man ever lost his life, and perhaps his soul, from thy hand? Be honest now, for death is at the door.”

“ Your riverence is right,” groaned the poor fellow; “ I did once convert a Jew, but I had forgotten it.”

“ Convert a Jew! and sure, Pat, there was no sin in that. But how did you manage the matter, pray! "

“ Well, your riverence must let me tell the story in my own way. I was setting him ashore in the ship’s boat—me and Pete Mullins were—and we got to disputationing like about our religion, for he thought we were no better than pagans, and I knew he was worse, for I had seen the hathun niggers and Indians at home, and they ain’t half as bad as Jews, and I told him so. He got very wrothy like, and when he laped up to give me a clip, the boat went over onto one side, and over he went into the sea. As he came up I caught him by the hair of his head, and it came to me all at once that it would be a good time to convert him; and so says I, as I drew his head out of the water,

“ ‘ Honey dear—for I thought I would spake kindly to him—‘ honey dear, do you believe in the Holy Catholic Church?’ . “‘ Not a bit of it!“ said he, as he cleared his mouth of the sea-water, and so I settled him down into it again. Once more I brought his chin to the top of the brine, and asked him tinderly,
“ ‘ Do you believe in the Holy Catholic Church now?’

“‘I don‘t think I do,‘ he said, but not so decidedly as before, and I ducked him again; and now for the third time I raised him, and said,
"' ‘ Do you believe in the Holy Catholic Church now?’

“His voice was almost gone, but I heard him distinctly but feebly answer, ‘ Yes,I do;’ and so, as these fellows, and especially the Jews, give up their religion so easy after they get it,I thought I would make him sure for the kingdom of heaven, and so I let him go. He never came up, and I hope to meet him in Paradise. That, your riverence, is the way I converted a Jew, and sometimes I feel as if I ought to have taken him into the boat, and let him take his chance of getting into the kingdom.”

The holy father admonished Pat that he did very wrong to let the Jew go to the bottom, and the poor fellow said he was very much of the priest’s opinion. So he repented him sorely of his converting the Jew, received absolution according to the rites of his Church, and in a few minutes breathed his last.


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