07 January 2009

Humor: Mrs. Rabitowitz is Jewish!

Terry Nelson, a painter in Minnesota, writes the Abbey-Roads blog, and I just read his delightful post here.
A surprising story.

Before going out to remove snow this afternoon, I put out more food for Mrs. Rabbit. I don't know if I mentioned this, but she sits only a few yards away from the little table I feed her at while I cover the top with food. I always make sure some of it falls on the ground for the mice and the voles. The table is actually an upside-down plastic litter-box that has never been used. It suits her perfectly as she sits on her haunches and feeds herself like a little person seated at a dining table.

Anyway, as I was putting out the trail mix and baguette crumbs, I heard a little voice say quietly, "Thank you. The food has been especially delicious this winter."

I looked up, quite surprised to see the rabbit speaking, having moved closer to me, less than a foot away I'd say. "You're quite welcome... err... Mrs. Rabbit." I answered.

She giggled slightly and proceeded to inform me that her name was Mrs. Rabitowitz. I asked if she was Polish or Jewish and she explained that her heritage was indeed Jewish, but she couldn't be certain about the Polish part. "You look surprised Mr. Nelson, but most rabbits are of Jewish ancestry, although we don't go to temple. That explains why we are often depicted in art bringing eggs to children at Easter. The Catholics are all at Church and we deliver the eggs and candy for their celebrations."

"Why of course!" I exclaimed, "that makes perfect sense. I just never heard that
explanation before." ...

The story goes on to posit ethnic and geographical origins of household pets. Do read the complete post at the link above. Thanks, Terry!

Is it possible that the Jewish Graveyard Rabbit is a relative of Mrs. Rabitowitz? If you'd like to research this and add to the comments, I'd be happy to compile them!


  1. Jason Raphael9:13 PM

    I once saw a huge black-eyed hare leaping about in the wilds of Brooklyn's Greenwood cemetary. I was photographing the exterior of famous ex-persons' mausoleums to illustrate 19th and 20th century use of ancient architectural forms.

    I wonder if the mammal I saw was the reincarnation of Leonard Bernstein or some other Jewish personage for whom GW Cemetery is the final resting place. However, I hesitate to anthropomorphize the critter and am particularly reticent about assigning any ethnic or religious affiliation to it, especially since the hare does not have cloven hooves.


  2. Hi, Jason. Thanks so much for your comment. Your hare was likely the relative of the original Graveyard Rabbit poem which inspired blogger colleague Terry Thornton to set up the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. The International Jewish Graveyard Rabbit http://jewishgraveyardrabbit.blogspot.com is delighted to be a charter member of the AGR.

  3. Anonymous4:27 AM

    Rabbits! I thought I was the only one. My father is buried in Cedar Park, Paramus, NJ. Almost every time I visit him a rabbit jumps out from under the bush that covers the plot. The first time it scared the living daylights out of me, now when I go, I look for the rabbit. In my mind my Dad is saying hello to me.
    Jennifer Spier-Stern

  4. Delightful!

    Terry Thornton