harry leichter's jewish humor
Jewish Humor 10
Proofs
 The Cow
 Stop Sign
Mohel Retires
Hermeneutics
 Four Jewish Ladies
 Have the Maid do it
 Kosher Bagel Seeds
 The Wish
 The Cohen
 Rabbi Tarfon
Representative

Remember...these Jokes are only old if you've heard them before...
 
Proofs
Three proofs that Jesus was Jewish
 1. He went into his father's business
 2. He lived at home until the age of 33
 3. He was sure his mother was a virgin, and his mother was sure he was God.
-------------
 THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS IRISH:
 1. He never got married
 2. He never held a steady job
 3. His last request was a drink
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 THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS PUERTO RICAN:
 1. His first name was Jesus
 2. He was always in trouble with the law
 3. His mother did not know who his father was
------
 THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS ITALIAN:
 1. He talked with his hands
 2. He had wine with every meal
 3. He worked in the building trades
-----
 THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS BLACK:
 1. He called everybody brother
 2. He had no permanent address
 3. Nobody would hire him
-------------
 THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS CALIFORNIAN:
 1. He never cut his hair
 2. He walked around barefoot
 3. He invented a new religion
Have the Maid do it
A man wonders if having sex on the Sabbath is a sin because he is not sure if sex is work or play. He asks a priest for his opinion on this question.
The priest says after consulting the Bible," My son, after an exhaustive search I am positive sex is work and is not permitted on Sundays."
The man thinks: " What does a priest know of sex?" He goes to minister... a married man, experienced..for the answer.
He queries the minister and receives the same reply. Sex is work and not for the Sabbath!
Not pleased with the reply, he seeks out the ultimate authority: a man of thousands of years tradition and knowledge...A Rabbi.
The Rabbi ponders the question and states," My son, sex is definitely play."
The man replies," Rabbi, how can you be so sure when so many others tell me sex is work?!"
The Rabbi softly speaks," If sex were work...my wife would have the maid do it.
The Wish
    Just before Rosh Hashana, a team of terrorists invades the shul and takes the rabbi, the cantor and the shul president hostage.  Hours later, the governor stands tough, he won't give them a million dollars, nor a getaway car, nor a Jumbo Jet.
    The terrorists gather the three hostages in a corner and inform them that things look bad and they're going to have to shoot them.  Nevertheless, to show that they're not really a bad bunch, they'll grant each hostage one wish.  "Please," says the rabbi, "for the last two months I've been working on my Rosh Hashana Sermon.  What a waste to die now without having delivered it before an audience.  I'll go happily if you let me recite my sermon. It's an hour-ninety minutes long tops."
They promise to grant him the wish.  "Please," says the cantor, "after 50 years I've finally gotten the 'Hinneni' prayer just right. What a waste to die and not sing it to an audience.  It's only about 45 minutes long - then I'll go happily." The terrorists promise to grant the cantor his wish too and they turn to the shul president. What is your wish?  "Please," says the president with tears in his eyes, "shoot me first!"
Kosher Bagel Seeds ©
The following should be attached to a plastic zip lock bag containing Cheerios. 

 WHERE TO PLANT BAGEL SEEDS
Any bright sunny location, preferably close to a delicatessen. WHEN TO PLANT
Year around, but onion bagels grow best in winter, while poppy seed and pumpernickel grow well in summer.  CARE OF PLANTS
Plant in seven equal rows, running north and south. You may make the middle row longer. Join all rows with one long east-west row, for irrigation and to form a menorah. All seeds must be planted at least four feet deep. Any less depth and the hole in the bagel will not develop properly! Irrigate sparsely, with boiling water only!! NOTE: Over-irrigation or cold water will cause your growing bagel to become soggy. Soggy bagels are not good for anything. . . While it is possible to grow bagels topped with cream cheese by sprinkling the blossoms with fresh dairy cream, you should contact a professional bagel grower for expert advice. Some unkosher growers will use fertilizer, but that does affect the taste and texture, even if it does hasten the growth. However those who like egg bagels have had success using fresh eggs as fertilizer.  TO EAT
Cut cross-wise. Never, never cut a bagel vertically. Ladle on lox and cream cheese (you were warned only experts could raise bagels already topped). Use when ripe. . While day-old bagels may be toasted and eaten, any older and they tend to fossilize and are only good for missiles. Beware of over-ripe bagels!

 GUARANTEE
If you are not 100% satisfied, dig up your bagel seeds and return. A BRAND NEW package of seeds will be sent to you.

Four Jewish Ladies are sitting around playing mah jongg
  First lady says, "you know girls, I have known you all for a long time and there is something I must get off my chest.   I am a Kleptomaniac.
  But don't worry I have never stolen from you and I never will; we have been friends for too long." 

  Next lady says, "well, since we are having a true confessions here, I must get something off my chest. I am a nymphomaniac.
  But don't worry I have not hit on your husbands' They don't interest me and never will; we have been friends for too long."  Well, says the third lady, "I too must confess something. I am a lesbian.
  But do not worry; I will not hit on you. You are not my type. We have been friends too long for me to ruin our friendship."

  The fourth lady stands up, says,  "I have a confession to make also..... I am a Yenta and I have some phone calls to make."

The Cohen
Hershel feels that he's not getting enough Aliyahs, and so he goees in to see the Rabbi.
He wants to become a Kohain.
Although reluctant, the Rabbi, after much persuasion and arm twisting, finally agrees to the request.  But on one condition.
"They know you here. You must move to another Congregation where no one will know your prior status." Hershel agrees to the condition, and moves to another Congregation. On his first Shabbos there, right before Torah Reading, the Parnass (Gabbai) comes up to greet Hershel, and to welcome the new face.
"By the way", continues the Gabbai, "are you a Kohain?".
"Absolutely" came the answer.
"In that case," replied the Gabbai, "I would like to respectfully request that you leave the room for a few moments. We have some yarzeits and need the Kohain aliya!"
The Cow
A little town in Poland had only one cow and it stopped giving milk. The townspeople did a little research and discovered they could get a cow from Moscow for 2000 rubles but they could get a cow from Minsk for only 1000 rubles. So they got the cow from Minsk. 

It was a great cow, gave lots of milk and lots of cream and everybody loved this cow. The people decided they would mate the cow and get more cows and then they would never have to worry about their milk supply again. So they got a bull and led the cow and the bull into the pasture. When the bull came in from the right to mount the cow, the cow moved to the left. When the bull moved in to mount the cow from the left, the cow moved to the right. This went on all day.Finally, in desperation, the people decided to go ask the Rabbi what to do. After all he was very wise. They told him the story. "Rabbi, we've tried all day to mate our cow. When the bull moves in from the right the cow moves left and when the bull moves in from the left the cow moves to the right. What do we do?" The Rabbi thought a moment and said, "Ok, why did you buy this cow from Minsk?" "Rabbi," they said, "you are so wise. We never said we bought the cow from Minsk. How did you know that?"

The Rabbi said, "My wife is from Minsk."

Hermeneutics in Everyday Life
Suppose you're traelling to work and you see a stop sign. What do you do? That depends on how you exegete the stop sign. 

1. A postmodernist deconstructs the sign (knocks it over with his car), ending forever the tyranny of the north-south traffic over the east-west traffic.2. Similarly, a Marxist sees a stop sign as an instrument of class conflict. He concludes that the bourgeoisie use the north-south road and obstruct the progress of the workers on the east-west road. 3. A serious and educated Catholic believes that he cannot understand the stop sign apart from its interpretive community and their tradition. Observing that the interpretive community doesn't take it too seriously, he doesn't feel obligated to take it too seriously either. 4. An average Catholic (or Orthodox or Coptic or Anglican or Methodist or Presbyterian or whatever) doesn't bother to read the sign but he'll stop if the car in front of him does. 5. A fundamentalist, taking the text very literally, stops at the stop sign and waits for it to tell him to go. 6. A preacher might look up "STOP" in his lexicons of English and discover that it can mean: 1) something which prevents motion, such as a plug for a drain, or a block of wood that prevents a door from closing; 2) a location where a train or bus lets off passengers. The main point of his sermon the following Sunday on this text is: when you see a stop sign, it is a place where traffic is naturally clogged, so it is a good place to let off passengers from your car. 7. An orthodox Jew does one of two things: A) Take another route to work that doesn't have a stop sign so that he doesn't run the risk of disobeying the Law.
B) Stop at the stop sign, say "Blessed art thou, O Lord our G-d, king of the universe, who hast given us thy commandment to stop," wait 3 seconds according to his watch, and then proceed. Incidently, the Talmud has the following comments on this passage: R[abbi] Meir says: He who does not stop shall not live long. R. Hillel says: Cursed is he who does not count to three before proceeding. R. Simon ben Yudah says: Why three? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, gave us the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. R. ben Isaac says: Because of the three patriarchs. R. Yehuda says: Why bless the Lord at a stop sign? Because it says: "Be still, and know that I am G-d." R. Hezekiel says: When Jephthah returned from defeating the Ammonites, the Holy One, blessed be He, knew that a donkey would run out of the house and overtake his daughter; but Jephthah did not stop at the stop sign, and the donkey did not have time to come out. For this reason he saw his daughter first and lost her. Thus he was judged for his transgression at the stop sign. R. Gamaliel says: R. Hillel, when he was a baby, never spoke a word, though his parents tried to teach him by speaking and showing him the words on a scroll. One day his father was driving through town and did not stop at the sign. Young Hillel called out: "Stop, father!" In this way, he began reading and speaking at the same time. Thus it is written:"Out of the mouth of babes." R. ben Jacob says: Where did the stop sign come from? Out of the sky, for it is written: "Forever, O Lord, your word is fixed in the heavens." R. ben Nathan says: When were stop signs created? On the fourth day, for it is written: "let them serve as signs." R. Yeshuah says: ... [continues for three more pages] 8. A Pharisee does the same thing as an orthodox Jew, except that he waits 10 seconds instead of 3. He also replaces his brake lights with 1000 watt searchlights and connects his horn so that it is activated whenever he touches the brake pedal. 9. A scholar from Jesus seminar concludes that the passage "STOP" undoubtedly was never uttered by Jesus himself, but belongs entirely to stage III of the gospel tradition, when the church was first confronted by traffic in its parking lot. 10. A NT scholar notices that there is no stop sign on Mark street but there is one on Matthew and Luke streets, and concludes that the ones on Luke and Matthew streets are both copied from a sign on a completely hypothetical street called "Q". There is an excellent 300 page discussion of speculations on the origin of these stop signs and the differences between the stop signs on Matthew and Luke street in the scholar's commentary on the passage. There is an unfortunately omission in the commentary, however; the author apparently forgot to explain what the text means. 11. An OT scholar points out that there are a number of stylistic differences between the first and second half of the passage "STOP". For example, "ST" contains no enclosed areas and 5 line endings, whereas "OP" contains two enclosed areas and only one line termination. He concludes that the author for the second part is different from the author for the first part and probably lived hundreds of years later. Later scholars determine that the second half is itself actually written by two separate authors because of similar stylistic differences between the "O" and the "P". 12. Another prominent OT scholar notes in his commentary that the stop sign would fit better into the context three streets back. (Unfortunately, he neglected to explain why in his commentary.)  Clearly it was moved to its present location by a later redactor. He thus exegetes the intersection as though the stop sign were not there. 13. Because of the difficulties in interpretation, another OT scholar mends the text, changing "T" to "H". "SHOP" is much easier to understand in context than "STOP" because of the multiplicity of stores in the area. The textual corruption probably occurred because "SHOP" is so similar to "STOP" on the sign several streets back that it is a natural mistake for a scribe to make. Thus the sign should be interpreted to announce the existence of a shopping area. A PRACTIONER OF ZEN SEES THE SIGN AND COMES GENTLY TO A STOP.
CONTEMPLATING THE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD, HE RESOLVES TO SPEND EVEN MORE TIME ENJOYING NATURE AND THEN PROCEEDS AT PEACE WITH THE WORLD.

A New Yorker slows down, looks for Police, and then proceeds.

How to Exegete a STOP Sign
Suppose you're traveling to work and you see a stop sign. What do you do? 

That depends on how you exegete the stop sign.

  1. A post modernist deconstructs the sign (knocks it over with his car), ending forever the tyranny of the north-south traffic over the east-west traffic.
  2. Similarly, a Marxist sees a stop sign as an instrument of class conflict. He concludes that the bourgeoisie use the north-south road and obstruct the progress of the workers on the east-west road.
  3. A serious and educated Catholic believes that he cannot understand the stop sign apart from its interpretive community and their tradition. Observing that the interpretive community doesn't take it too seriously, he doesn't feel obligated to take it too seriously either.
  4. An average Catholic (or Orthodox or Coptic or Anglican or Methodist or Presbyterian or whatever) doesn't bother to read the sign but he'll stop if the car in front of him does.
  5. A fundamentalist, taking the text very literally, stops at the stop sign and waits for it to tell him to go.
  6. A preacher might look up "STOP" in his lexicons of English and discover that it can mean:
    1) something which prevents motion, such as a plug for a drain, or a block of wood that prevents a door from closing;
    2) a location where a train or bus lets off passengers. The main point of his sermon the following Sunday on this text is: when you see a stop sign, it is a place where traffic is naturally clogged, so it is a good place to let off passengers from your car.
  7. An orthodox Jew does one of two things:  
    1. Take another route to work that doesn't have a stop sign so that he doesn't run the risk of disobeying the Law.
    2. Stop at the stop sign, say "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast given us thy commandment to stop," wait 3 seconds according to his watch, and then proceed. Incidentally, the Talmud has the following comments on this passage: R[abbi] Meir says: He who does not stop shall not live long. R. Hillel says: Cursed is he who does not count to three before proceeding. R. Simon ben Yudah says: Why three? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, gave us the Law, the Prophets, and   the Writings. R. ben Isaac says: Because of the three patriarchs. R. Yehuda says:
      Why bless the Lord at a stop sign? Because it says: "Be still, and know that I am God." R. Hezekiel says: When Jephthah returned from defeating the Ammonites, the Holy One, blessed be He, knew that a donkey would run out of the house and overtake his daughter; but Jephthah did not stop at the stop sign, and the donkey did not have time to come out. For this reason he saw his daughter first and lost her. Thus he was judged for his transgression at the stop sign. R. Gamaliel says: R. Hillel, when he was a baby, never spoke a word, though his parents tried to teach him by speaking and showing him the words on a scroll. One day his father was driving through town and did not stop at the sign. Young Hillel called out: "Stop, father!" In this way, he began reading and speaking at the same time. Thus it is written: "Out of the mouth of babes." R. ben Jacob says: Where did the stop sign come from? Out of the sky, for it is written: "Forever, O Lord, your word is fixed in the heavens." R. ben Nathan says: When were stop signs created? On the fourth day, for it is written: "let them serve as signs." R. Yeshuah says: ... [continues for three more pages!!!!]
  8. A Pharisee does the same thing as an orthodox Jew, except that he waits 10 seconds instead of 3. He also replaces his brake lights with 1000 watt searchlights and connects his horn so that it is activated whenever he touches the brake pedal.
  9. A scholar from Jesus seminar concludes that the passage "STOP" undoubtedly was never uttered by Jesus himself, but belongs entirely to stage III of the gospel tradition, when the church was first confronted by traffic in its parking lot.
  10. A New Testament scholar notices that there is no stop sign on Mark street but there is one on Matthew and Luke streets, and concludes that the ones on Luke and Matthew streets are both copied from a sign on a completely hypothetical street called "Q". There is an excellent 300 page discussion of speculations on the origin of these stop signs and the differences between the stop signs on Matthew and Luke street in the scholar's commentary on the passage. There is an unfortunately omission in the commentary, however; the author apparently forgot to explain what the text means.
  11. An Old Testament scholar points out that there are a number of stylistic differences between the first and second half of the passage "STOP". For example, "ST" contains no enclosed areas and 5 line endings, whereas "OP" contains two enclosed areas and only one line termination. He concludes that the author for the second part is different from the author for the first part and probably lived hundreds of years later. Later scholars determine that the second half is itself actually written by two separate authors because of similar stylistic differences between the "O" and the "P".
  12. Another prominent Old Testament scholar notes in his commentary that the stop sign would fit better into the context three streets back. (Unfortunately, he neglected to explain why in his commentary.) Clearly it was moved to its present location by a later redactor. He thus exegetes the intersection as though the stop sign were not there.
  13. Because of the difficulties in interpretation, another Old Testament scholar emends the text, changing "T" to "H". "SHOP" is much easier to understand in context than "STOP" because of the multiplicity of stores in the area. The textual corruption probably occurred because "SHOP" is so similar to "STOP" on the sign several streets back that it is a natural mistake for a scribe to make. Thus the sign should be interpreted to announce the existence of a shopping area.
Rabbi Tarfon of Bet Shea
Rabbi Tarfon of Bet Shean said of Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya: It is said that in those days Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya designed a web site for the mother of his father, Sarah the daughter of Pinchas, who begat Yechezkel, who begat Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya. Thus Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya performed the mitzvah of web site design. 

 Rabbi Michal ben Elkanah, who had only one eye, said: But is it not also said that in those days there was no web, only gopher? Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron said: It is true, but as it is written:  "A web browser may also use the gopher protocol, in addition to the HTTP protocol."  Rabbi Eliezer asked: Why does it specifically mention that the web browser may also use the gopher protocol, when it is written elsewhere that a web browser may use any protocol? Because the gopher protocol is especially meritorious, since it enables support of legacy systems.  One time a poor man came into the home of Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron and asked for two megabytes of disk space on the web site of Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron. Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron refused the man, but instead gave him a personal web server for his own use. At this point Rabbi Yehudah ben Yerachmiel asked Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron: Why did you refuse this man's request, but instead give him a personal web server for his own use?  Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron replied: It [the Mishnah] teaches: "When a poor man comes into your home and asks for disk space on your web site, first ascertain whether he is going to use it for his  own purpose or for the purpose of idol worship. If he is going to use it for his own purpose, grant him the space he asks, unless it exceeds twenty ephraot [one ephrah = 213 kilobytes], in which case  you may refer him to a local Internet service provider, for as it is written: It is not upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it. If he is going to use it for the purpose of idol worship, then do not give him the space, but instead rebuke him, that he might see the error of his ways and refrain from idol worship."  Rabbi Gideon of Shechem disagreed, saying: It [the Mishnah] also teaches: "When a poor man requests space on an FTP server, you must grant it without asking why he is going to use it." Why would the Mishnah impose requirements on a web server but not an FTP server?

 Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron said: Rabbi Eliezer said: Why does it specifically mention that the web browser may also use the gopher protocol when it is written elsewhere that a web browser may use any protocol? Because the gopher protocol is especially meritorious, since it enables support of legacy systems. Similarly, the FTP protocol is especially meritorious. Therefore, it is unfair to deny a poor man access to FTP, whereas it is sometimes permitted to refrain from giving a poor man access to HTTP, because without HTTP he can still serve files using FTP, but without FTP he will be unable to put his files on the server, since the means for saving files over HTTP are unreliable.

Mohel Retires After 50 Years
  He goes to the leather worker with all the skin he has saved. "I vant you should make me a memento of my years as a mohel." The leather worker assures him that this can be done, and he should come by next week and pick it up. 

  When the mohel returns, the leather worker presents him with a wallet. The mohel is incensed. "I vork for 50 years and all you can give me is a vallet?" The leather worker replies "But it is a special kind of wallet. When you rub it, it becomes a suit case!"

The Jewish Representative
  A long time ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave Rome.  Naturally, there was a big uproar from the Jewish community.
  So the Pope made a deal.  He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community.  If the Jew won, the Jews could stay.  If the Pope won, the Jews would leave. 

  The Jews realized that they a no choice.  So, they picked a middle-aged man named Moishe to represent them.  Moishe asked for one addition to the debate.   To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk.  The Pope agreed.  The day of the great debate came.   Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.   Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head.  Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.   The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine.  Moishe pulled out an apple.  The Pope stood up and said, "I give up!  This man is too good.  The Jews can stay."   An hour later, the Cardinals were all around the Pope, asking him what happened.  The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Holy Trinity.  The Rabbi responded by holding up   one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both of our religions."   The Pope continued.  "Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us.  He responded by pointing to the ground, showing that God was also right here with us.   "I pulled out the wine and the wafer, to show that God absolves us from our sins.  He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin."   With an amazed look on his face, the Pope exclaimed, "He had an answer for everything.  What could I do?   Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe.
"What happened?" they asked.   "Well," said Moishe, "First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here.  I told him that not one of us was leaving.   Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews.
  I let him know that we were staying right here."   "And then?" asked a woman.

  "I don't know."  said Moishe.  "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."

 
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