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    How odd of God – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Who originated the famous words, “How odd of God to choose the Jews”?

    A. The question was debated in the correspondence columns of the London Jewish Chronicle some years ago.

    More than one writer said that it began in a conversation in the Savage Club and the words originated with a foreign correspondent, William Norman Ewer (1885-1977).

    In response, someone else said,
    But not so odd
    as those who choose
    the Jewish God
    but spurn the Jews.

    Another response was,
    Oh no
    it’s not;
    God knows
    what’s what.

    Yet another:
    Not odd
    of God;
    annoy ‘im.

    True, there are views that the original comment originated with Hilaire Belloc or GK Chesterton, neither of them too well disposed towards Jews, but it is more likely that Ewer, a philo-semite, was the author.

    Commenting on Chesterton’s antisemitism, the poet Humbert Wolfe wrote:
    Here lies GK Chesterton
    who to heaven would have gone
    But didn’t when he heard the news
    that the place was run by Jews.

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