Home  »  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse  »  Who Serves Best

Joseph Friedlander, comp. The Standard Book of Jewish Verse. 1917.

By George Alexander Kohut

Who Serves Best

IN stern debate, all through the night they strove—

The sages of the Talmud, to record

What man deserved the favor of the Lord.

The ancient Rabbi Judah, he who throve

On fasting and on prayer, spake of one

Who lavished wealth, as worthy. “Nay,” quoth Saul,

The scribe and scholar, looming gaunt and tall,

“None but the wise is fit to look upon!”

“Not so,” exclaimed the zealot Zadok. “Place

Him first who best observes the Law!” Lo, then was heard

A child’s sweet voice which thrilled the men who erred:—

“To him alone is vouchsafed God’s good grace

Who renders loving service to his kind!”—

And ere they grasped the vision, it declined.