Student Question

What does Gimpel mean when he says, "What’s the good of not believing? Today it’s your wife you don’t believe; tomorrow it’s God himself you won’t take stock in," in "Gimpel the Fool"?

“What’s the good of not believing? Today it’s your wife you don’t believe; tomorrow it’s God himself you won’t take stock in.”

Expert Answers

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Issac Bashevis Singer "Gimpel the Fool" Gimpel’s statement, “What’s the good of not believing? Today it’s your wife you don’t believe; tomorrow it’s God himself you won’t take stock in.” What is meant by this statement I have mixed feelings.
Gimpel's answer is the answer of a holy fool to a worldly/practical point of view. That is to say, there are many who would question and test everything, and if Gimpel had a little of that attitude in him, he would probably have fewer problems in day to day life. However, he's saying that belief is all connected, and that this sort of self-protective cynicism would separate him from God. It is, in essence, a statement of deep and profound faith that most of us would have trouble living by.

Greg

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