Sign of the Cross
The Jewish Samurai
|Q & A
A Tor-Ch Al Chet
The Rabbi's Teachings
On a Bus
Ice Cream Flavors
Sign from Above
If you knew what I have
|A sign from above|
| So it seems that these
four rabbis had a series of theologicalarguments, and three were always
in accord against the fourth. One day, the odd rabbi out, after
the usual "3 to 1, majority rules" statement that signified that he had
lost again, decided to appeal to a higher authority.
"Oh, God!" he cried. "I know in my heart that I am right andthey are wrong! Please give me a sign to prove it to them!" It was a beautiful, sunny day. As soon as the rabbi finished his prayer, a storm cloud moved across the sky above the four. Itrumbled once and dissolved. "A sign from God! See, I'm right, Iknew it!" But the other three disagreed, pointing out that stormclouds form on hot days. So the rabbi prayed again: "Oh, God, I need a bigger sign to show that I am right and they are wrong. So please, God, abigger sign!" This time four storm clouds appeared, rushed toward each other to form one big cloud, and a bolt of lightning slammed into a tree on a nearby hill. "I told you I was right!" cried the rabbi, but his friends insisted that nothing had happened that could not be explained bynatural causes. The rabbi was getting ready to ask for a *very big* sign, but just as he said, "Oh God...," the sky turned pitch black, the earth shook, and a deep, booming voice intoned, "HEEEEEEEE'SRIIIIIIIGHT!" The rabbi put his hands on his hips, turned to the other three,and said, "Well?"
"So," shrugged one of the other rabbis, "now it's 3 to 2."
|A Tor-Ch Al Chet|
| For the sin which we have committed by responding too often,
And for the sin which we have committed by not posting at all when we have something valuable to say;
For the sin which we have committed by responding angrily in haste,
copyright 1995, 1998, Mark Frydenberg
| A man has been in business
for many, many years and the business is going down the drain. He is seriously
contemplating suicide and he doesn't know what to do. He goes to the Rabbi
to seek his
advice. He tells the Rabbi about all of his problems in the business and asks the Rabbi what he should do.
Rabbi says "Take a beach
chair and a Bible and put them in your car and drive down to the edge of
the ocean. Go to the water's edge. Take the beach chair out of the car,
sit on it and take the Bible out and open it up. The wind will riffle the
pages for a while and eventually the Bible will stay open at a particular
page. Read the first words your eyes fall on and they will tell you what
to do." The man does as he is told.
He places a beach chair and a Bible in his car and drives down to the beach.
He sits on the chair at the water's edge and opens the bible. The wind
riffles the pages of the Bible and then stops at a particular page. He
looks down at the Bible and his eyes fall on words which tell him what
The man replies: "Chapter 11."
Arab has spent many days crossing the desert without finding a source of
water. It gets so
bad that his
camel dies of thirst. He's crawling through the sands, certain that he has breathed his last, when all of a sudden he sees a shiny object sticking out of the sand, and discovers a Manischevitz wine bottle. It
appears that there may be a drop or two left in the bottle, so he unscrews the top and out pops a genie. But this is no ordinary genie. This genie appears to be a Chasidic Rabbi, complete with black alpaca coat, black hat, side curls, ....etc. "Well, kid," says the genie. "You know how it works. You have three wishes." "I'm not going to trust you," says the Arab.
"I'm not going to trust a Jewish genie!" "What do you have to lose? It looks like you're a goner anyway!" says the genie. The Arab thinks about this for a minute, and decides that the genie is right. "Ok, I wish I were in a lush oasis, with plentiful food and drink." **POOF** The Arab finds himself in the most beautiful oasis he has ever seen. And he is surrounded with jugs of wine and platters of delicacies.
"Ok, kid, what's your second wish," says the genie. "My second wish is that I were rich beyond my
wildest dreams." **POOF** The Arab finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins and precious gems.
"Ok, kid, you have just one more wish. Better make it a good one!"
After thinking to a few minutes, the Arab says: "I wish I were white and surrounded by beautiful women." **POOF** The Arab is turned into a tampon.
The moral of the story is: If you do business with a Jewish genie, there's going to be a string attached.
| A Christian girl in love
with a Jewish guy agrees to change her religion.
She goes to a Rabbi for instruction.
Rabbi: You will learn how to light the candles, keep two sets of Dishes, keep a kosher home, and a few other simple things.
Girl: That sounds easy to me. I can do that.
Rabbi: The last thing is, you must go to a mikva.
Girl: Mikva, what's that?
Rabbi: It's a pool of water and you must immerse yourself completely for a few seconds.
Girl: I'm sorry, I have a phobia about putting my head under water. I`ll go in the pool but I can't put my head under water. Will that be all right?
Rabbi: That will be okay. You will be Jewish but you will still have a Goyisha kup.
|Sign of Cross|
Rabbi Stern rides his bike down the road, when a truck careens around the corner, out of control, and broadsides the Rabbi.
Father Flannery watches this event unfold, and as he runs toward the Rabbi, he notices that Rabbi Stern first touches his forehead, then his stomach, then each shoulder. As Father Flannery reaches the Rabbi, he kneels and makes the sign of the cross himself.
"Rabbi, I notice that you crossed yourself after getting up from the accident. It's a miracle, must be! Have you seen the light? Do you believe, man?"
"Cross? Aw, no!" replied Rabbi Stern, "I was just checking."
"Checking? Checking for what?"
Rabbi Stern begins the ritual again, and follows each movement with:
"Spectacles... Testicles... Wallet... and Watch!"
|If you knew what I have|
A little old lady gets onto a crowded bus and stands in front of a seated young girl. Holding her hand to her chest, she says to the girl, "If you knew what I have, you would give me your seat." The girl gets up and gives up the seat. The girl then takes out a fan and fans herself.
The woman looks up and says, "If you knew what I have, you would give me that fan." The girl gives her the fan. Fifteen minutes later the woman gets up and says to the bus driver, "Stop, I want to get off here." The bus driver tells her he has to drop her at the next corner, not in the middle of the block. Her hand across her chest, she tells the driver, "If you knew what I have, you would let me out here." The bus driver pulls over and opens the door to let her out. As she's walking out of the bus, he asks, "Madam, what is it you have?" "Chutzpah," she replies.
|The Jewish Samurai|
| Old Japanese proverb that
I thought you might like. The trouble with doing something right the first
time is that nobody will be able to appreciate how difficult it was.
Way back in the time of the
samurai, there was a powerful emperor.
And the Jewish samurai replies, "If you look closely, you'll see that the fly has been circumcised."
During a service at an old synagogue in Eastern Europe, when the Shema prayer was said, half the congregants stood up and half remainedsitting.
half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down,
and the ones standing yelled
at the ones sitting to stand up... The
rabbi, educated as he was in the Law and commentaries, didn't know what
to do. His congregation suggested that he consult a housebound 98 year
old man, who was one of the original founders of their temple. The rabbi
hopedthe elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual templetradition
The old man answered,
"No, that is not the tradition."
|Ben & Jerry's Israeli ice cream flavors|
.........available in a goyishe cup, or a cohn
Although many significant events have shaped 5758 so far (U.S. troops in Bosnia, an erratic stock market, septuplets in Iowa, increasing tension the Middle East) certainly none can compare to the really big story this year, a genuine blockbuster that will change the lives of American Jews dramatically and cataclysmically. Unless we merit the coming of Mashiach, 5758 will go down in history as The Year That Oreos Became Kosher. Now that Nabisco has made the commitment to providing Jews (and the world at large) with kosher Oreos, we Jews have a responsibility to consider the halachic implications of this remarkable coup. I am not referring to the reliability of rabbinical hashgacha within Nabisco's factories, chas v'shalom.
Rather, my concern is income-based (how it's ingested) and outcome-based (digested). Halacha covers even the most picayune details of a Jew's everyday life. The reliance on seder, a certain order as part of the process, is integral to implementation. For example, the way we put on our shoes and tie them: we first put on the right shoe, then the left shoe, then we tie the left shoe and finally tie the right shoe. The reasons behind these halachos are beyond the ken of the average Jew. It may be best left to kabbalists to divine their significance. Nevertheless, we take this shoe-fitting decree seriously, a case of na'al v'nishma.
This concept of seder is no different for kabbalistic Oreo-eating.
Which should come first? A straight forward bite into the whole cookie? Should one first break apart the two sandwich halves and concentrate on the creme? One can postulate that if white represents purity and goodness, and black evil and darkness, then perhaps one should eat the white first, as an example of the yetzer hatov triumphing over the yetzer hora? Or should one save the best for last, so to speak, by first destroying, via consumptive powers, the Darkness (the cookie part) and be left only with Light (the creme)? Or perhaps, this sort of binary weltanschauung is not healthy at all it may be preferable to take the centrist position and bite into the intact cookie, representing the real-world mix of good and bad, light and dark,
moderation versus extremism.
A fresh insight and hint may be garnered when analyzing the Hebrew form of Oreos, Ori-oz (aleph-vav-resh-yud-ayin-zayin), translated as "my light is the source of strength." Assuming that the "s" in Oreos takes on the Ashkenazic pronounciation, it may also be interpreted Ori-os, or my light shall be a sign. Thus the Hebrew appears to favor the creme-first eating process, although it's advisable to check with your local rabbi for a p'sak. And then, of course, comes the question of which blessings to say. 'Borei minay mezonos' seems the obviouschoice, unless one first chooses to excise and consume the whitecreme center (in which case, a shehakol would be the way to go,followed by a 'mezonos' when the cookie part is tasted.)
Or, since the creme is subjectively the mehudar, perhaps a 'shehakol' is sufficient for both creme and cookie, provided that the creme is eaten first? And if one has a glass of milk with one's Oreo, does the 'shehakol' that one first said over the Oreo's creme center suffice? Clearly the introduction of Oreos and all the shaylos it presents allows us the opportunity to triumph over lust, by exercising control over the Oreo, versus the Oreo having control over us. Cooperation between Nabisco and the Orthodox Union has given Jews the opportunity to take the everyday act of noshing on kosher Oreos, and raise it to a whole new level of holiness.
We see that Oreos enrich our bodies with a perfect blend of ruchniyus and gashmiyus, the transitory (a taste of Heaven) and the permanent (a waistline that holds no secrets.)
|The Rabbi's Teachings|
A couple preparing for a religious conversion meets with the orthodox rabbi for their final session.
The rabbi asks if they have any final questions.
The man asks, "Is it true that men and women don't dance together?"
"Yes," says the rabbi, "For modesty reasons, men and women dance separately."
"So I can't dance with my own wife?"
"Well, okay," says the man,"but what about sex?"
"Fine," says the rabbi. "A mitzvah within the marriage!"
"What about different positions?" the man asks.
"No problem," says the rabbi.
"Woman on top?" the man asks.
"Why not?" replies the rabbi.
"Well, what about standing up?"
"NO!" says the rabbi....
"Why Not???" asks the man.
"Could lead to dancing!"
|Aunt Yetta's rules for Jewish living|
AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT
These two Japanese businessman are talking during their afternoon dip in the hot baths at the Geisha house. The first businessman says, "Hirokosan, I have unpleasant news for you. Your wife is dishonoring you."
Hirokosan can't believe what he hears, and asks for more information.
"It is as I said, Hirokosan, your wife is dishonoring you, and she is doing it with a foreigner who is of the Jewish faith."
Shocked, Hirokosan decides to go home and confront his wife.
He faces her and says "I am told that you are dishonoring me with a foreigner of the Jewish faith".
She replies "That's a lie. Where did you hear such mishigas!!"
Sadie and Yetta, two widows, are talking:
Sadie: "That nice Morris Finkleman asked me out for a date. I know you went out with him last week, and I wanted to talk with you about him before an answer I give him."
Yetta: "Vell.... I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctual like a clock. An like such a mench he is dressed. Fine suit, wonderful lining. And he brings me such beautiful flowers you could die from. Then he takes me downstairs, and what's there but such a beautiful car... a limousine even, uniformed chauffer and all. Then he takes me out for a dinner...
Marvelous dinner. Kosher even. Den ve go se a show.... let me tell you Sadie, I enjoyed it so much I could just PLOTZ! So then we are coming back to my apartment, an into an ANIMAL he turns.
Completely crazy, he tears off my expensive new dress and has his way with me!"
Sadie: "Oy vey... so you are telling me I shouldn't go out with him?"
Yetta: "No... I'm just saying that if you do, you should wear a shmatta."
A Jewish couple won twenty million dollars in the lottery. They immediately went out to begin a life of luxury. They bought a magnificent mansion estate and surrounded themselves with all the material wealth imaginable. They then decided to have a butler and, wanting the best, they traveled to London to hire one.
They found the perfect butler through an agency and brought him back to the United States to their home. The day after his arrival, they instructed him to set up the dining room table for four, that they were inviting the Cohens to brunch. The couple then left the house to do some shopping.
When they returned, they found the table set for eight. They asked the butler why eight, when they specifically instructed him to set the table for four. The butler replied, "The Cohens telephoned and said they were bringing the Bagels and the Bialys."
|After 40 years, mother finally got her citizenship papers and proudly registered to vote. Well, Mother received a notice to report for jury duty, and to our surprise was not only selected for a jury but was elected the foreman. It was a criminal case. A husband had shot his wife's lover, but only grazed his arm. The jury was out for over four hours before returning. Everyone waited with bated breath as the judge asked my mother whether the jury had reached a verdict, Mother stood up, and firmly replied, "We have, your honor, we decided not to butt in."|
|My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one. As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter? You didn't like the other one?"|
|On a bus in Tel Aviv|
|a mother was talking animatedly, in Yiddish, to her little boy -- who kept answering her in Hebrew. And each time the mother said, "No, no, talk Yiddish!" An impatient Israeli, overhearing this, exclaimed, "Lady, why do you insist the boy talk Yiddish instead of Hebrew?" Replied the mother; "I don't want him to forget he's a Jew."|
Jewish young man was seeing a psychiatrist for an eating and sleeping disorder. "I
am so obsessed with my mother... As soon as I go to sleep, I start dreaming,
and everyone in my dream turns into my
I wake up in such a state, all I can do is go downstairs and eat a piece of toast." The psychiatrist replies: "What, just one piece of toast, for a big boy like you?"
|Q & A|
| Q. Why aren't there any
Jewish mothers on parole boards?
A. They'd never let anyone finish a sentence!
Q: What's Jewish Alzheimer's
A: A Bris-kit........
| A minister, a priest and
a rabbi went for a hike one day. It was very hot.
They were sweating and exhausted when they came upon a small lake.
Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water.
Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom." As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.
After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, "I don't know about you, but in MY congregation, it's my face they would recognize."
Moishe walks into a post office to send a package to his wife.
The postmaster says, "This package is too heavy, you'll need another stamp."
Moishe replies, "And that should make it lighter?!"
Place and time: somewhere in the Soviet Union in 1930s.
The phone rings at KGB headquarters.
"Hello, is this KGB?"
"Yes. What do you want?"
"I'm calling to report my neighbor Yankel Rabinovitz as an enemy of the State. He is hiding undeclared diamonds in his firewood."
"This will be noted."
Next day, the KGB goons come over to Rabinovitz's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept, break every piece of wood, find no diamonds, swear at Yankel Rabinovitz and leave. The phone rings at Rabinovitz's house.
Did the KGB come?"
"Did they chop your firewood?"
"Yes, they did."
"Okay, now its your turn to call. I need my vegetable patch plowed."
Israeli History in a Nutshell
History of Israel
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World