from The Wonders of America by Jenna Weissman Joeslit, about the creation (as well as commercialization, and assimilation) of American Judaism, by one Moses Weinberger in 1887. I like it in the way that depressing things appeal sometimes to my black sense of humor. He wrote,

As for phylacteries [tefillin], there isn’t much business for them in America. I see, dear reader, that you look upon me with amazement. A question forms on your lips: Don’t boys by the hundred celebrate every year their bnei mitzvah, amid enormous splendor and great show? Yet you say there isn’t much business in phylacteries…. Let me implore you, my friend, to leave me alone. Don’t press me to reveal everything at once! Go away!

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