Monday, January 14, 2008

The 10 Suggestions

It was Moses who led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt and into the desert where he gave them the Ten Commandments. (The Eleventh Commandment -- "Find water!" -- is no longer in effect.) Extremely Reform Jews maintain that they were not really "Commandments" at all but just "Suggestions," and that Moses looked very dehydrated when he delivered them.

The Ten Suggestions

1. I am the Lord thy G-d and thou shalt have not too many other G-ds besides me.
2. Thou shalt make no graven images. This is a major religion, not a shop class.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of Adonai thy G-d in vain without the express written consent of Adonai thy G-d. The name "Adonai thy G-d" is the sole property of Adonai thy G-d. Any use of the name of Adonai thy G-d without the express written consent of Adonai thy G-d is unauthorized and illegal and shall be punished by Adonai thy G-d.
4. Remember the Sabbath, thy squash game and thy other appointments.
5. Honor thy single parent.
6. Thou shalt not kill a man just to watch him die.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery and then run for office.
8. Thou shalt not steal. (Note: Not really applicable to car radios.)
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor when appearing before Judge Wapner.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, his servants, his flocks, or his power tools.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Beautiful Talmudic Mind

After months of negotiation with the authorities, a Talmudist from Odessa was finally granted permission to visit Moscow.

He boarded the train and found an empty seat. At the next stop, a young man got on and sat next to him. The scholar looked at the young man and he thought: This fellow doesn't look like a peasant, so if he is no peasant he probably comes from this district. If he comes from this district, then he must be Jewish because this is, after all, a Jewish district.

But on the other hand, since he is a Jew, where could he be going? I'm the only Jew in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow.

Ahh, wait! Just outside Moscow there is a little village called Samvet, and Jews don't need special permission to go to Samvet But why would he travel to Samvet? He is surely going to visit one of the Jewish families there. But how many Jewish families are there in Samvet? Aha, only two -- the Bernsteins and the Steinbergs. But since the Bernsteins are a terrible family, so such a nice looking fellow like him, he must be visiting the Steinbergs.

But why is he going to the Steinbergs in Samvet? The Steinbergs have only daughters, two of them, so maybe he's their son-in-law. But if he is, then which daughter did he marry? They say that Sarah Steinberg married a nice lawyer from Budapest, and Esther married a businessman from Zhitomer, so it must be Sarah's husband. Which means that his name is Alexander Cohen, if I'm not mistaken.

But if he came from Budapest, with all the anti-Semitism they have there, he must have changed his name.

What's the Hungarian equivalent of Cohen? It is Kovacs. But since they allowed him to change his name, he must have special status to change it. What could it be? Must be a doctorate from the University. Nothing less would do.

At this point, therefore, the Talmudic scholar turns to the young man and says, "Excuse me. Do you mind if I open the window, Dr. Kovacs?"

"Not at all," answered the startled co-passenger. "But how is it that you know my name?"
"Ahhh," replied the Talmudist, "It was obvious."

J Crew

Yeshiva University decided to field a crew team. Unfortunately, they lost race after race. They practiced for hours every day, but never managed to come in any better than dead last..

The Rosh Yeshiva finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team. So Yankel shlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bullrushes off the Charles River, from where he carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced.

Yankel finally returned to Yeshiva. "I have figured out their secret," he announced.
"They have eight guys rowing and only one guy shouting."


This is one of those classic Jewish jokes that has been around forever. And if it's a classic it means like any good Jewish joke, there's some truth to it. So, let's own up to what we all know -- we Jews are indeed a vocal people. This joke suggests that we may even have acquired this attribute from our great tradition of Jewish yeshiva learning. If you walk into a yeshiva you will hear hundreds if not thousands of study partners seemingly yelling at each other. But they aren't angry. They are simply passionately pursuing the truth. And when we Jews believe in the truth of our own viewpoints, then we are going to let you know what's on our minds. Even if the truth revolves around the best way to row a boat.

You Are What You Eat

An old Jew lives in an apartment building in an otherwise Catholic neighborhood where all adhere to the restriction of eating only fish on Fridays. Every Friday afternoon, however, the Jew bakes chicken for his Shabbos meal.

The tantalizing aroma week after week is too much for his Catholic neighbors. They convince the local priest to deliver an ultimatum to the Jew: either he convert to Catholicism and eat only fish on Fridays, or he has to move. The Jew agrees to convert. Three times the priest sprinkles holy water on him declaring: "Born a Jew, raised a Jew, now a Catholic."

The ex-Jew's first Friday night as a Catholic comes around -- and the perfume of baking chicken wafts through the neighborhood. A neighborhood mob charges into the old man's apartment demanding,

"What's with the chicken? You're a Catholic now!"

He says, pointing to the roaster on the table, "That's no chicken; that's a fish."
"Who are you kidding!" they protest. "It's a chicken!"

The ex-Jew walks over to the sink, wets his hands, approaches the table and sprinkles the chicken three times, saying, "Born a chicken, raised a chicken, now a fish!"

I Had a Dream

A Chassid comes to see his Rabbi: "Rebbe, I had a dream that I was the leader of 300 Chassidim. What should I do?"

The Rabbi replies, "Come back when three hundred Chassidim have a dream that you are their leader."

Doctor's Bills

An old Jewish man goes to see one of New York's top medical specialists.

"How much do I owe you doctor?" he asks. "My fee is $5000."
"$5000!" the man exclaims. "That's impossible."
"Fine, in your case," the doctor replies, "I suppose I could make it 3000."
"3000? Ridiculous."
"Well can you afford 1000?"
"A thousand dollars? Who has that kind of money?"
Frustrated, the doctor says, "Just give me $800 and we'll be done with it."
"I can give you 200," says the man. "Take it or leave it.”

"I don't understand you," says the doctor. "Why did you come to one of the most expensive doctors in New York City if you didn't have any money?" "Listen doctor," says the patient.

"When it comes to my health, nothing is too expensive."

Friday, February 9, 2007

Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!

by Golda Meir

<-- Submitted by JS