Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
They Call Us Jews
By Milton Goldsmith
THEY call us Jews. Those men whose family tree
Springs from a line of noble ancestry,
Who trace their title to the little band
That in the Mayflower came to freedom’s land;
Or those within whose veins doth proudly run        5
The blood of men who fought with Washington.
How weak their proud pretensions are to ours
Whose pedigree with undiminished powers
We trace to him who first the truth made known;—
“The Lord is One. He rules the world alone.”        10
Yes, we are Jews;—proud scions of the race
That first enjoyed Jehovah’s special grace;
To whom was given in Sinai’s synagogue,
By hand Divine, the glorious decalogue;
Whose leader, Moses, formed the wondrous laws        15
Which still best serve Humanity’s great cause;
Whose leader, Moses, formed the thoughts and deeds
That inspiration give to modern creeds;
Whose people still proclaim through every zone;—
“The Lord is One. He rules the world alone.”        20
Yes, we are Jews. Scourged by relentless hate,
Our fathers wandered on from state to state;
Were forced to dwell in narrow Ghetto lanes,
Were fleeced by torture of their honest gains.
And though of every privilege deprived,        25
The persecuted people grew and thrived.
The nations might degrade them, might annoy,
But God-anointed man could not destroy.
And with our race the shibboleth has grown;
“The Lord is One. He rules the world alone.”        30
Yes, we are Jews. The People of the Book,
Our duty ’tis to search out every nook
Where evil lurks, where ignorance and shame
Cast undeserved reproach on Israel’s name.
On this Association falls the task        35
With pen and precept error to unmask.
To teach the Gentile world for what we stand,
To teach the Jew his passions to command.
To penetrate the homes and spread the light,
To preach the doctrine of Eternal Right.        40
Throughout the hostile world let Israel be
A synonym of stern morality.
Then will our prayer ascend to Heaven’s throne;
“The Lord is One. He rules the world alone.”

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