He spent his last four days of life in this world suffocating from pneumonia and stalked by delirium tremens. Among the throng of mourners at the grave-site eight came forward and carefully pushed the presiding Catholic priest aside and then intoned the Kaddish, each taking their turn to spill a shovel-full of dirt on the coffin lowered into the ground.
“May his great Name grow exalted and sanctified (Amen) in the world He created as He willed, (Amen)
Joseph Roth suffered in his life from complications knotted by profound distress and self abuse, by existential realization and cosmic irony, More than anything he knew that some unknown unknowable fault shadowed our lives., and that shadow had grown immense, more viscous and poisonous.than could be imagined and yet in plain sight. We would not see the end of it as it was the End itself.
Joseph Roth came from Brody in eastern Galicia and during his youth he spent a lot of his time denying this and his orthodox Jewish family. He spoke Yiddish fluently and wrote in an elegant and literary German. He was happiest in the cosmopolitan mileu of Paris.and miserable even there. He was most of all conscious and made ragged by the events unfolding around him and wrote about them with power induced by urgency.