An American Jew dies and he leave no children.
In his will, the following is written:
“I hereby decree that all my money and property
be given over to the State of Israel and my last
wish is that I be buried in the Land of Israel.
The undersigned, Isaac Cohen.”
The attendants sent the deceased and his money,
according to his last request, to the Land of Israel,
to eternal rest. The clerks of Zion collected
his money and transferred the corpse, as a matter
of course, to the burial society of the Ashkenazic Jews.
They turned his papers upside-down but found no authorization
to determine whether or not he really was an Ashkenazi.
Because of their doubts they deferred, sending him
on to the eternal resting place for Sephardic Jews.
The Sephardic sages sat down to take the matter
under advisement and, in conclusion, their answer
was formulated like this: “The name Isaac Cohen could
be either here or there, and given that this is so,
if he is a Sephardic Jew, then we have been privileged
to fulfill a wonderful commandment; and if he is
an Ashkenazic Jew, then we will gladly bury him!”
The above is excerpted from “Who Is a Jew and What Kind of Jew?” a poem from “The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature.” Sami Shalom Chetrit is an Israeli poet, filmmaker and political activist who was born in Qasr as-Suq, Morocco.