1. THE WILL
[INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE]
YOU ARE ASKED TO ATTEND THE
READING OF THE WILL
of the late
which will take place
BECAUSE of a strange request which appears in this will; and
BECAUSE implementation of this Bequest is only possible with
the earnest assistance and considered judgement of a
select group of citizens, including yourself,
The Community's Leading Solicitor
will read the will in the presence
THE THREE SONS of the deceased.
2. FIRST SOLICITOR'S STATEMENT
I have an unusual document in my hand. It is the last will and
testament of the late Morris Goldberg, a leading Jew of our community
who died only a week ago. I am his solicitor and it is my duty, in the
presence of his three sons, to read you his will.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
OF MORRIS GOLDBERG
This will is made by Morris Goldberg of ____________________________
I wish that my entire estate be given to whoever of my sons be deemed
to be the best Jew. To this end, my solicitor shall select a committee
of representative Jews to make this determination. If this committee
decides that none of my sons is worthy to be called a good Jew, or if
the committee cannot agree on a selection, my estate is to be divided
equally among several Jewish charities which are named in another page
(which will be brought to light, should the need arise, by my
You, ladies and gentlemen, have been selected as the committee to make
the required decision. I hope that you will pay close attention as the
basic facts are presented to you about the three sons --- Henry,
David, and Joseph Goldberg.
3. THE THREE SONS (DAUGHTERS)
H E N R Y G O L D B E R G
Henry Goldberg, the oldest son, is also the wealthiest. He owns
and operates several large businesses including a large real
estate company. He is married and has three children. Henry is
an observant Jew. He is a member of the Synagogue and for a
decade has been its most generous single contributor, as well as
a contributor to other Jewish and Zionist causes.
Henry Goldberg always attends Shabbat services even when he is
traveling in other parts of the country on business. In
addition, Shabbat and Jewish holidays are observed in his home.
All of his children received some Jewish education. Apart from
faithful attendance every Shabbat, Henry does not participate
personally in other activities of the Synagogue or in the work
of other organizations legal services to persons who cannot
afford a lawyer [of particular interest to him]. When asked to
serve on committees of the synagogue or other groups, he
replies, "I'm sorry, my business and Legal Aid work take all my
time. You know that I give generously to all worthy causes in
the community. That's all I can do."
Henry recently became a most controversial figure. The Urban
Development Council, devoted to improving housing for all income
groups, publicly announced that a highly-priced housing estate
built by Mr. Goldberg, "The Glades," is racially segregated and
minorities are discouraged from even looking at the houses.
Henry issued the following statement in response:
I do not condone racial segregation.
Nevertheless, I am a builder of private homes and
I have a responsibility to the people who have
bought my houses and to the community not to disturb
the social patterns in which they choose to live.
P R O F. D A V I D G O L D B E R G
Prof. David Goldberg, the second son, is an atheist. An
intellectual and a scholar, David teaches Philosophy at the
university. He has contempt for his older brother's views which
he terms "blind religious conformity."
When Dave was a young boy approaching Bar Mitzvah, his best
friend was struck by a hit and run driver. Dave prayed for his
friend to recover. After lingering in a coma for a few days, the
boy died. Dave decided that there is no God and refused to go
through with his Bar Mitzvah. Since that day, Dave has had no
interest in religion. He will not belong to a synagogue and does
not give a religious education to his children. His wife shares
his views on these matters. Despite his attitude towards Jewish
religious life, Dave has always been involved in secular Jewish
groups, especially those having to do with the saving of
perscuted Jews abroad.
Dave was deeply stirred by learning about Hitler's assault on
European Jewry, and has always been an avid supporter of the
Jewish homeland. In 1973, with the outbreak of the Yom Kippur
War, Dave consulted with his wife and then went to Israel as a
volunteer on a kibbutz, to replace men absent in the army. He was
injured in the left leg as a result of a tractor accident and
returned home slightly, but permanently, disabled. His teaching
hours were reduced at his doctor's insistence. His older brother,
Henry, went out of his way to help Dave with the heavy cost of
In gratitude to Henry, Dave refused to "turn his back" on his
brother when the "Glades" affair was made public. To the extent
that his injury allows, he is also politically active in the
civic life of the general community, and is a member of the local
Race Relations Council.
J O S E P H G O L D B E R G
Joe Goldberg, the youngest son, married a non-Jewish woman. She
converted to Judaism and has become an active member of the
reform synagogue and its Ladies' Guild. Joe, although a member of
the synagogue, is not active and does not attend services
regularly. He explains that he is still trying to clarify his own
religious views and his conceptions of God, Judaism, and Zionism.
Joe is serious-minded and has read the Bible in its entirety five
times and reads voraciously in Jewish literature. He has had
running arguments for ten years with his older brother, Henry,
who always says: "Dave I can understand. He doesn't believe. At
least he knows where he stands. But, you just never grew up.
You're confused and you'll always be confused."
Joe is active in civic and political life within the general
community. He is a leading member of the local education
committee. When the Urban Development Council attacked the
"Glades," Joe wrote a letter to his older brother, saying: "While
I am still uncertain as to just what I believe in terms of ritual
and theology, I believe that if my being Jewish means anything at
all, it means doing the right thing. I am therefore resigning
from all association with the "Glades" development.
Henry has not spoken to Joe since this incident occurred. Joe and
his wife have had a series of arguments as a result of this
because she disapproved of his resignation. "You like to be a
hero," she said, "but if you're such a social reformer, why did
you wait until the Development Council had a go at Henry? You
knew all the time that minorities couldn't live there, didn't
you? When did Henry's money get dirty to you? Besides, if you're
such a man of convictions, how is it we live in a nice white area
4. SECOND SOLICITOR'S STATEMENT
This is a Claim in respect of Joseph and Solomon Goldberg in appeal
against the judgement of the Lower Court of Probate of _______ 1995,
which divided the estate of the late Morris Goldberg equally between
two of the surviving sons, Henry Goldberg and David Goldberg. The plea
of appeal is entered by Joseph Goldberg and Solomon Goldberg.
I bring for your inspection Document #1, the will of the late Morris
Goldberg. The appeal is on the grounds of equality of opportunity: all
four sons are equally Jewish and no discrimination shall be practiced
on grounds of religion, race or sex.
Editors, Menachem Persoff, Zehava Albert, "Sukkot", Youth & Hechalutz Dept., WZO (Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education), Jerusalem. Revised Edition.