Rabbi Will Kramer: Poetic San Diego
POETIC SAN DIEGO
By Dr. Will Kramer, z”l
(From his column ‘My Shtetele California,” November 12, 1971 in the Jewish Heritage newspapers)
The San Francisco correspondent of The Jewish Voice of St. Louis wrote this San Diego item in his paper’s March 31, 1893 edition:
The other day a gentleman, who has made a fortune in San Diego, came to see me. “How is everything in San Diego?” I asked.
“Well,” said he, “The Rabbi is gone, the school is empty and the people offer silent prayers at home.”
“Silent prayers at home!” I cried. “What are those?”
Seating himself at my desk, he wrote the following, which he entitled:
THE JEW’S PRAYER AT SAN DIEGO
Father in heaven, to Thee we pray.
Give us a good dinner every day.
Goose and turkey, sauce and cake,
That is all we crave to take.
As to drink, champagne and wine,
Remember us, our God divine.
Bless our children, with all your grace,
With ribbons, fringes and Brussel lace.
Our wives and daughters thou dost behold,
Give them diamonds and all the gold.
Give peace and plenty all over the land,
Give each a carriage with four in hand.
Oh, Thou, who causest the flowers to bloom,
Give us, Oh give us another boom,
We pray to Thee from early till late,
Give us a raise in real estate.
Many blessings, wealth galore,
That’s all we ask nothing more.
The following May 12, 1893,The Jewish Voice heard from San Diego
San Diego, Cal.
April 11—The Union of this morning contained the following (reaction to the poem):
The poetical effusion, four verses in length, was highly amusing, and depicted the condition of a flock, greatly demoralized because of the absence of the shepherd.
Dr. Danziger’s informant, pleasantly exaggerated the case, to express as well as possible the high regard in which the Rabbi was held and the feelings which his departure occasioned.
While not actually giving up to the sordid longings so fluently expressed in the poem, the Jewish people of San Diego greatly miss their Rabbi and, with the Gentiles, will be pleased to welcome him back, should he ever decide to return to San Diego.
Preceding reprinted from the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of Western States Jewish History, which is devoted to the columns of the late Rabbi Will Kramer