harry leichter's jewish humor
Jewish Humor 31
Texas Baby Shule Walk
Mice in Shul The Poker Game
Shore Leave The Furniture Man
Rabbi's Advice Interior Design Plans
Life is Like a Cup of Tea Tradition before a Wedding
The Cow that Gave Gold A Modern Major Synagogue
Jewish Food Descriptions The Beloved Rabbi's Last Words

Remember...these Jokes are only old if you've heard them before...
Life is like a Cup of Tea
Moskowitz and Finkelstein were in a cafeteria, drinking tea.  Moskowitz studied his cup and said with a sigh, "Ah, my friend, life is like a cup of tea."
Finkelstein considered that for a moment and then said, "But why is life like a cup of tea?"And Moskowitz replied, "How should I know?  Am I a philosopher?"
Tradition before a Wedding
In the little Jewish towns of eastern Europe before World War I, it was quite customary to make marriage arrangements without consulting the young folks most intimately concerned.  The marriages so arranged had many material advantages, but love (if the old folks thought of it at all) was irrelevant.
  In any case, young Samuel had been told to dress up because he and his father, together with a few other male relatives, were to travel to a neighboring town to sign a marriage contract, and this would afford Samuel a chance to meet the family of his future wife for the very first time.
  Dressed in their finest and most formal clothes, the party of the groom made its way over the snow to the village in question and reached the home of the future in-laws.  There a group of some twenty grave men, relatives of the bride, were gathered for the signing.
  Once inside the house, Samuel's father whispered to him on impulse, "Tell me, Sammy, can you guess who, of all these fine-looking men, is going to be your father-in-law?"
  "Of course I can," said Samuel, and he pointed.
His father was astounded.  "You are quite right," he said, "but how did you know?"
"Easy," said Samuel.  "One look at all of them and that one in particular I already can't stand."
The Beloved Rabbi's Last Words
The beloved rabbi was on his deathbed, and life was slowly ebbing away.  Around the bed was a group of sorrowing disciples who felt the coming loss keenly and who talked in whispers among themselves of the manifold virtues of the old man now leaving them.

One said, "So pious, so pious!  Which of the many commandments of the Law did he fail to keep?  Where at any point did he deviate in the slightest from the commandments of God?" And another mourned, "And so learned.  The vast commentaries of the rabbis of the past were, so to speak, imprinted on his brain.  At any moment, he could call to mind some saying which would illuminate any possible theological question." Still a third said, "And so charitable, so generous.  Where was the poor man whom he did not help?  Who in town is ignorant of his kindness?  Why he kept for himself only enough to hold body and soul together." But as this litany of praise continued, a faint tremor appeared on the rabbi's face.  It became obvious that he was trying to say something.  All the disciples leaned forward, with pent breath, to hear those last words.

Faintly, from the rabbinical lips, there came the words:  "Piety, learning, charity!  And of my great modesty you say nothing?"

Interior Design Plans
Mrs. Moskowitz was trying to describe to the interior decorator exactly how she wanted her house done.

She said, "I leave the art and design entirely to you.  I ask only that whatever you do, it be spectacular.  I want it done in such a way that when my dear best friend, Mrs. Finkelstein, should come in for the first time, she should instantly have a stroke with jealousy and drop dead."

Mice in Schul
  Three rabbis were talking over a regular Sunday morning breakfast get-together.
  Rabbi Ginsberg says, "We have such a problem with mice at our schul. The shammos sets all kinds of baited traps but they kept coming back. Do either of you learned men know how I can get rid of these vermin?" 
  The second rabbi, Rabbi Cohen, replied, "We have the same problem at our synagogue, we've spent all kinds of gelt on exterminators but the problem still persists. Any suggestions?" 
The third rabbi, Rabbi Slosberg, looked at Rabbi Ginsberg and Rabbi Cohen and told the following story:
  "Rabbis, we had the same problem with mice at our synagogue. We tried traps, exterminators, even prayers; but nothing worked. Then one Shabbos after services were over a brilliant idea came into my mind.
  The next Shabbos I went to the synagogue about an hour before services started. I brought a big wheel of yellow cheese and placed it in the center of the bima. Well, soon, hundreds of mice appeared on the bima and headed for the cheese. While they were feasting on the cheese, I bar-mitzvahed all of them.
I have never seen any of them in schul again!" 
Shule Walk
Two Jewish men were walking their dogs near shule one Shabbes morning when they smelt the aroma of a cholent kiddush wafting up from the shule's kitchen.
The first one said "Let's go inside."
The other replied, "What about our dogs?"
The first guy answered, "Just follow my lead."
The first guy enters the shule, puts one of the shule's kippas on his head and is confronted by the shammes:
"You can't come into the shule with a dog."
The guy replies "This is my seeing eye dog" and is allowed in.
The second guy comes in, grabs a kippa and is also accosted by the shammes about the dog.
This guy also says that it is a seeing eye dog.
The shammes screams out that the dog is a chihuahua.
The guy answers, "Is that what they gave me ?" 
The Cow that Gave Gold
A stranger came to visit Chelm, together with his very old, very skinny cow. The mayor of Chelm insisted the stranger stay in his home during that time and even made room in his own barn for the cow. The stranger was a little worried about being in a strange town, so, he hid his gold in the straw in the barn under his cow. 

The next morning, the mayor walked into the barn to care for his animals, and he noticed the gold in the straw. He figured out that this cow, unlike all other cows, gave gold instead of milk. He was very excited!! He called a special meeting of the Chelm Town Council and insisted that they buy the cow from the stranger. They collected money from all the citizens in town.  The mayor asked the stranger if he would be willing to sell the cow, and he offered double the usual price for a good milk cow. The stranger started to protest that the cow wasn't worth that much, but the mayor misunderstood and increased his offer. The more the stranger protested, the more the mayor offered. Finally, completely confused, the stranger agreed to sell.  The mayor gave the scrawny cow the best stall in his barn. He fed her the very best feed in town. The next morning, the mayor approached the cow to milk her. As he started, he was very surprised to find that the cow gave...milk! And not even very good milk!!  The mayor was annoyed. The stranger had sold him a cow that gave gold, but all he had gotten was milk! He reported back to the Town Council. They were angry. When they told the townspeople, everyone was furious! They decided to track down the stranger to get their money back.  They found the stranger in the next town. With everyone yelling at him all at once, he had no idea what was going on, but eventually, he figured it out. He turned to the mayor and asked, "Did you feed the cow?"  The mayor answered, "Of course we fed the cow! Do you think we don't know how to care for a cow?!!"  The stranger answered, "Did you ever have a cow that gave gold before? Didn't you notice how scrawny she was when I came into town? There's only one way to get her to give gold... You have to stop feeding her! But, it took me weeks to teach her to not eat. This is what you have to do. Every day, feed her a little less. At the end of three weeks, you should be able to cut her down to eating nothing. The next day, milk her, and she will give gold again."  The Chelmites look at the stranger, embarrassed about their previous anger at him. They return to Chelm and start the feeding regimen that the stranger told them. The cow got skinnier and skinnier, and the mayor of Chelm was very pleased. Until, one morning, on the very first day she would have gotten no food, the cow was found dead in her stall. 

The people of Chelm were, of course, very disappointed. But they always looked back nostalgically on the day when, if only their cow hadn't died, they would have been the richest town in Poland... 

The Poker Game
Six Jewish gentlemen were playing poker in the condo clubhouse when one of them loses $500 on a single hand and drops dead at the table. Showing respect for their fallen comrade, they complete the hand standing up.
 But who is going to tell the wife? They draw straws, and Goldberg, always a loser, picks the short one.
 They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, don't make a bad situation any worse than it is. Goldberg says "Gentlemen! I'm the most discreet guy you will ever meet. Discretion is mine middle name. Leave it to me." So Goldberg goes to the apartment, knocks on the door, the wife answers, asks what he wants.
 "Your husband just lost $500 at poker," he says. She hollers, "HE SHOULD ONLY DROP DEAD!" Goldberg replies, "From your mouth to God's ears.
Texas Baby
    A Jewish Texan buys a round of drinks for all in the bar and announces that his wife has just given birth to a baby boy weighing 20 pounds which even  for a Texan is atypical. 

  Congratulations shower him from all around, and many exclamations of  "Wow!" are heard. A woman faints due to sympathy pains.    Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender says, "Say, you're the father of the Texas baby who weighed 20 pounds at birth. How is he doing? What does he weigh now?"    The proud father answers, "Fifteen pounds."    The bartender is both puzzled and concerned. "Why? What happened? He already weighed 20 pounds at birth. How is it he lost so much weight?" 

  The Texas father takes a slow swig from his long-neck Lone Star, wipes his lips on his shirtsleeve, leans into the bartender and proudly says, "Had the bris."

Jewish Food Descriptions
  • Latkes: A pancake-like structure not to be confused with anything the House of Pancakes would put out. In a latka, the oil is in the pancake. It is made with potatoes, onions, eggs and matzo meal. Latkas can be eaten with applesauce, but NEVER with maple syrup. There is a rumor that in the time of the Maccabees they lit a latka by mistake and it burned for eight days. What is certain is that you will have heartburn for the same amount of time. 
  • Matzoh: The Egyptians' revenge for leaving slavery. It consists of a simple mix of flour and water-- no eggs or flavor at all. When made well, it could actually taste like cardboard. Its redeeming value is that it does fill you up and stay with you for a long time. However, it is recommended that you eat a few prunes soon afterwards.
  • Kasha Varnishkes: One of the little-known delicacies which is even more difficult to pronounce than to cook. It has nothing to do with varnish, but is basically a mixture of buckwheat and bow-tie macaroni (noodles). Why a bow-tie? Many sages discussed this and agreed that some Jewish mother decided that "You can't come to the table without a tie" or, God forbid, "An elbow on my table?" 
  • Blintzes: Not to be confused with the German war machine. Can you imagine the N.Y. Post 1939 headline: "Germans drop tons of cheese and blueberry blintzes over Poland -- shortage of sour cream expected" Basically this is the Jewish answer to crepe suzette. 
  • Kishka: You know from Haggis? Well, this ain't it. In the old days they'd take an intestine and stuff it. Today we use parchment paper or plastic. And what do you stuff it with? Carrots, celery, onions, flour and spices. But the trick is not to cook it alone but to add it to the cholent (see below) and let it cook for 24 hours until there is no chance whatsoever that there is any nutritional value left. 
  • Kreplach: It sounds worse than it tastes. There is a Rabbinical debate on its origins. One rabbi claims it began when a fortune cookie fell into his chicken soup. The other claims it started in an Italian restaurant. Either way it can be soft, hard, or soggy and the amount of meat inside depends on whether it is your mother or your mother-in-law who cooked it. 
  • Cholent: This combination of noxious gases had been the secret weapon of Jews for centuries. The unique combination of beans, barley, potatoes, and bones or meat is meant to stick to your ribs and anything else it comes into contact with. At a fancy Mexican restaurant (kosher of course) I once heard the comment from a youngster who had just had his first taste of Mexican refried beans: "What! Do they serve leftover cholent here, too?!" My wife once tried something unusual for guests. She made cholent burgers for Sunday night supper. The guests never came back. 
  • Gefilte Fish: A few years ago, I had problems with my filter in my fish pond and a few of them got rather stuck and mangled. My 5-year-old son looked at them and commented "Is that why we call it 'Ge Filtered Fish'?" Originally, it was a carp stuffed with a minced fish and vegetable mixture. Today it usually comprises of small fish balls eaten with horseradish, "chrain", which is judged on its relative strength in bringing tears to the eyes at 100 paces. 
  • Bagels: How can we finish without the quintessential Jewish Food, the bagel? Like most foods, there are legends surrounding the bagel although I don't know any. There have been persistent rumors that the inventors of the bagel were the Norwegians who couldn't get anyone to buy smoked lox. Think about it: Can you picture yourself eating lox on white bread? Rye? A cracker? Naaa. They looked for something hard and almost indigestible which could take the spreading of cream cheese and which doesn't take up too much room on the plate. And why the hole? The truth is that many philosophers believe the hole is the essence, and the dough is only there for emphasis.
Rabbi's Advice
Man goes to see the Rabbi.
Man: Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it.
Rabbi: what's wrong?
Man: My wife is poisoning me.
Rabbi: How can that be?
Man: I'm telling you, I'm certain she's poisoning me.
What should I do?
Rabbi: Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out, and I'll let you know.
A week later the Rabbi calls the man.
Rabbi: Well, I spoke to your wife. I spoke to her on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?
Man: Yes, Rabbi.
Rabbi: Take the poison.
We Are the Very Model of A Modern Major Synagogue  by Stan Plunka
(Adapted from Gilbert & Sullivan's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE)

We are the very model of a modern major synagogue,
Our services are innovative but lean toward the classical,
Our Baal Kriah seldom makes mistakes except for the grammatical,
We are knowledgeable of Maimonides, but rarely get too philosophical
Our dues are very reasonable and are never astronomical. In fact in matters of the mind (most seriously - not comical)
We are the very model of a modern major synagogue. We have the finest Tallesim this side of the Galapagos,
Our auditorium so large it can hold a convention of hippopatamos.
We do so many mitzvohs without a hint of contankerous,
We can understand each bit of Rashi & how it can relate to us. We often sing Adom Olam without trying to be lyrical,
We never say Tehillim at a speed that is incredible.
We have agrounding in Gematria and apply its principals mathematical,
And at Kol Nidre, never failing, we always reach our pinnacle. In short in Matters unequivocal, ethical and metaphysical,
We are the very model of a modern major synagogue. We can recite the Shulchan Aruch and its chapters catagorial,
We know Judean Kings & their lineage historical,
We plan our renovations without them being so conglomeratus,
And with other shuls consider merging at risking being deleterious. Our kashrut observance never gets fanatical,
Yet we know the hechshers for eating daily & Sabbatical,
We've kiddushes luxurios and pleasing gastronomical,
With kugels which are potato, lukshen, spinach or vegetable. No doubt in matters that are animal, vegetable (slash) edible,
We are the very model of a modern major synagogue. Our brotherhood's yearly man is never egotistical,
Our sisterhood's noted for dinners delicious and delectable,
And our discussions of Moshiach never reach a realm hysterical
Indeed, in matters which are political, socio and economical,
We are the very model of a modern major synagogue.

Our teen minyonim fully comprehends the war of Gog & Magogik,
We  have the needed Ganzer Machers none of whom is demagogik.
Undeniably in matters that are mystical, sensible and spiritual,
We are the very model of a modern major synagogue.
 

Shore Leave
In the mid 60's a U.S. Navy cruiser put into port in Mississippi for a week's shore leave.  The Captain was more than a little surprised to receive the following letter from the wife of a wealthy plantation owner.

Dear Captain,
      Thursday will be my daughter Melinda's coming of age party.  I would like you to send four well-mannered, handsome, unmarried officers to my home.
  They should arrive at 8:00 p.m. prepared for an evening of polite Southern conversation and dance with lovely young ladies.  One last point:  No Jews. We don't like Jews Sure enough at 8:00pm on Thursday, the lady heard a rap on the door which she opened to find, in dress uniform, four exquisitely mannered, smiling BLACK officers.  Her lower jaw hit the floor, but pulling herself together she stammered, "There must be some mistake."

"Madam,"  said the first officer, "Captain Cohen doesn't make mistakes!"

The Furniture Man
My cousin Moishe owned one of the biggest and fastest-growing businesses in Miami, a furniture store.  I convinced him that he needed to take a trip to Italy to check out the merchandise himself, and because he was still single, he could check out all the hot Italian women, and maybe get lucky.

As Moishe was checking into a hotel he struck up an acquaintance with a beautiful young lady... she only spoke Italian and he only spoke English, so neither understood a word the other spoke. He took out a pencil and a notebook and drew a picture of a taxi. She smiled, nodded her head and they went for a ride in the park. Later, he drew a picture of a table in a restaurant with a question mark and she nodded, so they went to dinner. After dinner he sketched two dancers and she was delighted.  They went to several nightclubs, drank champagne, danced and had a glorious evening. It had gotten quite late when she motioned for the pencil and drew a picture of a four-poster bed.

Moishe was dumbfounded, and to this day remarks to me that he's never be able to understand how she knew he was in the furniture business.

 
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