If you grew up when I did, this will all remind you of jokes that used to be told in New York City.  I can’t repeat them here because political correctness forbids it, but they’re about Chinese people in New York who only speak Yiddish.

I wish them well, and I have a bit of advice for the Chinese quest for the secret of capitalist success.  First, the Jews do well at lots of things because Judaism is a quest for the right questions, not a canon of correct answers.  The constant questioning, and the resultant playfulness of Jewish culture, are central to our success.  This is hard for the leaders of the PRC to absorb, and dangerous to their political enterprise, even though in the long run it’s the only way they’re going to get away from the folly of attempting to maintain political control over a “free” economy.

Meanwhile, I have no doubt the Chinese have noticed that the world’s oldest man is a Jew living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  He drifted away from the faith for a long time, but has recently reembraced it.  He’s a scientist, he thinks the soul outlives the body, and he’s still asking questions.

With such evidence, I think the Chinese are going to continue their Jewish studies.  Maybe Shanghai will reestablish the thriving Jewish community for which it was known for so long…and if there start to be mass conversions to Judaism in China, it will be great fun to watch the response of the Jew-haters, won’t it?

Faster, please.