He tried to teach me the culture
but I was never much of a student
(unless I cared for the subject)
so he found subjects within the culture
that I might care about.
There was a book of humorous stories
that I pored over
week after week, studying,
struggling to understand references
restating the jokes
with broken delivery.
Most of the stories told of isolation
and identification as the other.
The stories had clever protagonists
and learned wise men
and generally smarter-than-thou points of view.
It was in this way
that I learn to be a Jew.