Will It Be Coffee, Tea Or He?

Religion was once a conviction. Now it is a taste

As I checked in for an outpatient test at a local hospital last week, the admissions lady asked for the usual name, rank, serial number, insurance and ailment. Then she inquired, "What is your religious preference?" I was tempted to say, "I think Buddhism is the coolest of all, but I happen to be Jewish."

My second impulse was to repeat what Jonah said when asked by the shipmates of his foundering skiff to identify himself: "I am a Hebrew, ma'am. And I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." But that would...

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