February 11, 2013

God Kept His Deal With Ed Koch

Simon Feuerman, Jewish Daily Forward

Much has been and will be written about former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who died February 1 at the age of 88. He was such a New Yorker, and such a Jew. My contemporaries who came of age in the 1970s and ’80s will no doubt remember his nasal voice, his Yiddishisms, his exasperated and overheated sense of peculiarly “Jewish” states of being — like chutzpah, menschlichkeit, schmo.

“If you are caught with a gun in NYC, you’re gonna go to jayle,” he said in his distinctive whinelike lilt. Or during the water shortage of 1989, when, with a kind of haimish crassness, he adjured New Yorkers on their toilet habits: “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down!”

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TAGGED: Heaven, Ed Koch