|Dear G-D||Angry Teacher|
|Medical Relief||Favorite Cookies|
|Eating and Fasting||Post Operation Pain|
|Stopped Giving Milk||And G-d Created Israel|
|Essence of a Sermon||Rothberg & Rochmis' Dispute|
|Wanting to become a Rabbi||A Jewish Guide to Shoveling Snow|
|And G-d Created Israel|
the sixth day, God turned to the Angels and said: "Today I
am going to create a land called Israel, it will be a land of mountains
full of snow, sparkly lakes, forests full of all kind of trees, high
cliffs overlooking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life."
God continued, "I shall make the land rich so to make the inhabitants prosper, I shall call these inhabitants Israeli, and they shall be known to the most people on earth." "But Lord, asked the Angels, don't you think you are being too generous to these Israeli's?"
"Not really, God replied, just wait and see the neighbors I am going to give them."
|Wanting to become a Rabbi|
| A boy decided that he wanted to become
a rabbi when he grew up, so his father suggested that he go to speak
to their shul rabbi to find out what the job entailed.
"Ask me any question about the rabbinate and I'll give you the answer," declared the rabbi when the boy went to meet him.
"Well, besides giving a sermon for about fifteen mintues on a Shabbat morning, what else do you do all week?" the boy asked.
"You don't want to become a rabbi," thundered the rabbi. "With questions like that you want to become the shul president!"
| A rabbi once went to see his doctor,
complaining of terrible stomach pains.
The doctor examined him thoroughly and then asked him if there was a sermon that he had intended to give, but hadn't been able to do so.
"It's funny you should ask," replied the rabbi. "I prepared a sermon for Shmini Atzeret, but what with Yizkor and the Prayer for Rain, the service was running so late that I didn't have time to deliver it." So the doctor told him to preach the sermon there and then in the surgery which the rabbi promptly did. After about twenty minutes the rabbi collapsed exhausted into a chair and the doctor asked him how he was now feeling. "Wow! Much better," said the rabbi. "The pains have all gone."
The doctor replied: "I'm not surprised now that you've got all that rubbish out of your system."
| Hershele Motskin had successfully bouted
with years of disease; most recently it was a troubling case of stomach
bug that prevented him from eating anything with ease.
When word got around, his friends asked Hershele's mamaleh about the condition.
" Nu, mamaleh? Is it true that Hershele's lost a lot of weight?"
Hershele's mamaleh, never wanting to reveal his actual illness, replied, "Well, I don't wanna say he's thin, but when he wears his red necktie, he looks like a thermometer."
|Rothberg and Rochmis' Garment Dispute|
| Rothberg, the manufacturer, and Rochmis,
the wholesaler, enjoyed a fine business relationship for many years,
but they got into a dispute about a shipment of garmets which Rothberg
swore he had sent adn Rochmis insisted he had never received.
Thereafter, on the first of each month, Rothberg would send a bill, and just as regularly Rochmis ignored it.
But when a year had passed without payment, Rothberg instructed his accountant to draft a telegram demanding his money. Dutifully, the accountant prepared his telegram:
" DEBT NOW A YEAR OVERDUE. REMIT AT ONCE. CAN WAIT NO LONGER."
But Rothberg hit the ceiling. "Who needs so many words?" he said crossly, his sense of frugality outraged. "You couldn't make it shorter?"
" I don't see how," answered the accountant.
Rothberg grabbed a pencil and quickly reduced the telegram to one word: "NU?"
And the reply which came back from Rochmis the same day was: "SUE!"
|Post Operation Pain|
Meldman had just undergone a very complicated operation to his spleen,
and was complaining endlessly about a bump on his head and a terrible
headache. Since his operation
had been an abdominal one, there was no earthly reason why he should
be complaining of a headache.
Finally his nurse, Nurse Irma Goldstein of Flatbush, fearing that the man might be suffering from some post-operative shock, spoke to the doctor about it.
doctor assured the nurse, "Don't worry about a thing, Nurse
|Essence of a Sermon|
| A rabbi delivers a sermon of monumental
depth and pith that lasted nearly one hour. As soon as he finishes,
the president walks up to him and tells him that, since he is a newspaper
editor, he could assure that the sermon would make it into print. However,
he would have to reduce it into the written equivalent of half the
time that it took to deliver.
"No problem" says the rabbi. I'll reduce it to fit." ...and so he does.
The article appears and another member of the Shul Board, who is a TV producer, invites the rabbi to deliver it on the air... BUT... he had only a five minute spot. "No problem" says the rabbi. "I can reduce it to fit the time slot." ...and so he does.
At the end of the TV show, the producer says to the rabbi "that was a wonderful sermon. Beautifully written and delivered but tell me something, please. If you could reduce it to fit the article and the TV spot... why the heck did you waste 55 minutes of our precious Shabbat sleep time?"
| Rabbi Mordechai Schleppman was
a perfectionist and demanded the very best of his pupils. So
it was only to be expected that he would get furious when little Saul
handed in a poor paper.
"This is the worst Yiddish essay it has ever been my misfortune to read," ranted the rabbi. "It has to many mistakes I can't understand how one person would have made all these mistakes."
" One person didn't," replied Saul defensively. "My father helped me."
| Motke the Post Office worker,
at the main sorting office, finds an unstamped, poorly handwritten
envelope, addressed to G-d. He opens it and discovers it is from
an elderly lady, distressed because all her savings - $100 have been
She will be cold and hungry this Pesach without divine intervention.
He shares the letter with his fellow postal workers, who dig deep and come up with $96. They get it to her by special courier the same morning.
A week later, Motke recognizes the same hand on another envelope. He opens it:
" Dear G-d, Thank you for the $100 for Pesach, which would have been so bleak otherwise.
P.S. It was four dollars short but that was probably those thieving gonifs at the Post Office."
elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled
the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.
He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed.
Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom,
and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping
the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs. With labored
breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen.
Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already
in heaven; there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table
were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.
The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. "Don't touch," she said, "they're for the shiva."
|Eating and Fasting|
a general principle, Jewish holidays are divided between days on
which you must starve and days on which you must overeat.
Many Jews observe no fewer than 16 fasts throughout the Jewish year, based on the time-honored principle that even if you are sure that you are ritually purified, you definitely aren't. Though there are many feasts and fasts, there are no holidays requiring light snacking. (You can invent your own; e.g., the Extremely Reform Festival of the Pretzel Sticks.) Note Unlike Christians, who simply attend church on special days (e. g Ash Wednesday), on Jewish holidays most Jews take the whole day off. This is because Jews, for historical and personal reasons, are more stressed out.
The Yo-yo Diet Guide
to the Jewish Holidays
with the success of its latest creation, CBS is launching a new version,
called Jewish Survivor.
16 Jews are put in a two-bedroom co-op
on the Upper West Side of New York.
|A Jewish Guide to Shoveling Snow|
By Jordan Max
JWR contributor Jordan Max is a Toronto-based humorist and columnist for The Canadian Jewish News.
LAST YEAR, in Toronto, we had a lot of snow. I spent many hours shoveling snow. Shoveling snow is boring work, and after a while a mind tends to wander. So I resolved that this year I would be prepared with lots to think about. I researched and sent letters to key Jewish figures, polling them for their keen insight on shoveling snow. Their responses:
Ariel Sharon - "The important thing is to shovel the entire width and breadth of the driveway, regardless of what anyone else thinks."
Ehud Barak - "You must shovel most of the driveway, but the exact dimensions of shoveling will be determined in discussions with our neighbors. No wait, you can shovel only in places where snow had previously fallen, but you cannot shovel in places where no snow had fallen - wait, don't do any shoveling until you hear from me!"
Yossi Sarid - "You should not shovel any part of the driveway, since you really do not have any valid historical or legal claim to the driveway, and it will soon be given back to its rightful owners."
Artscroll Hilchos Sheleg ("Laws Regarding Snow; Ashkenaz version, chapter 5) - "First approach the snow with the proper kavanah, meditating on the concept of snow removal. Recite the "...Who commanded us concerning the shoveling of snow" benediction," then take three steps back, bend the knees slightly with feet together, then look at the snow, lift shovel and dig, turning right and then left, bend knees fully, take three steps forward and deposit snow deliberately. Repeat until done, then recite the Sheheheyanu benediction, go indoors and have a hot drink, remembering to say the Shehakol brocha (see Artscroll Hilchos on Drinking Hot Liquids)..."
Tikkun Magazine - "What right do we have to violently take snow from its rightful resting place? Snow has rights: each snowflake is a unique individual, and we have absolutely no right to do anything with it. Let the snow decide for itself what it wishes to do, and then if it wishes to be shoveled, do so humanely."
Rashi - "Snow, this is a form of solid precipitation that clings to one's beard if you remain outside too long in the winter season. (Old French: neige). Shoveling is a Rabbinic precept, based on the verse in Isaiah 1:18 - "If your sins be like scarlet, they will turn as white as snows"
Birthright Israel - "It does not matter how the shoveling is done, but the very act of Jewish teenagers shoveling snow for ten consecutive days, under proper supervision, will have a lifelong impact on Jewish identity."
Meir Ben-Meir (Israeli Water Commissioner) - "Just shovel the snow as fast as you can, and ship it here. We are running out of water fast! Is anyone listening to me?"
Rabbi David Hartman - "Snow is a potent force in the world which unites all Jews. It falls on us all, regardless of religious denomination and belief, and is therefore instrumental in our understanding of Jewish unity and diversity. In fact, just this week, I was explaining the significance of snow to the Prime Minister, President Weizman, President Clinton, and His Holiness the Pope, who had asked my opinion."
The Late Lubavitcher Rebbe (from an epistle to a disciple) - "Shoveling snow is a distraction from our efforts to bring Moshiach, may He come soon, when in any case there will be no snow to shovel. So leave it and let it melt. If the Messiah does not come by Shavuos, the snow will have miraculously disappeared anyway."
Now, if I could just find my boots.
|Stopped Giving Milk|
only cow in a small town in Poland stopped giving milk. The people
did some research and found that they could buy a cow from Moscow
for 2,000 rubles, or one from Minsk for 1,000 rubles. Being frugal,
they bought the cow from Minsk. The cow was wonderful. It produced
lots of milk all the time, and the people were amazed and
They decided to acquire a bull to mate with the cow and produce more cows like it. Then they would never have to worry about the milk supply again.
They bought a bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow. However, whenever the bull came close to the cow, the cow would move away.
No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull and he could not succeed in his quest.
The people were very upset and decided to ask the rabbi, who was very wise, what to do. They told the rabbi what was happening. "Whenever the bull approaches our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. An approach from the side and she just walks away to the other side."
The rabbi thought about this for a minute and asked, "Did you buy this cow from Minsk?"
The people were dumbfounded, since they had never mentioned where they had gotten the cow.
"You are truly a wise rabbi," they said. "How did you know we got the cow from Minsk?"
The rabbi answered sadly, "My wife is from Minsk."
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