In the middle of a grand theatrical performance one of the leading actors collapses, groaning, on stage. Responding to anxious requests for help from the manager a concerned huddle soon develops around him consisting, among others, of not a few eminent physicians who happen to be present in the auditorium. As they cluster round discussing possible diagnoses and treatments and the audience looks on enthralled, a voice rings out from the balcony:
"Give him chicken soup!"
The figures on stage pay no attention and carry on with their deliberations. For a second time the voice cries out:
"Give him some chicken soup!"
The discussions on stage continue, perhaps becoming somewhat more heated, and more urgent. For a third time, louder than before, the voice comes:
"Give the poor man some chicken soup!"
Exasperated, one of the figures on stage turns and addresses the source of the voice, a small wizened Jewish bubbe:
"My good woman", he says, "This man is gravely ill. What on earth could possibly be the benefit to him of plying him with chicken soup?"
All eyes turn to hear her response.
"And what harm?"
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A woman is riding a bus in the Midwest, when a man gets on the bus and sits down next to her. He's wearing a black hat, long black coat, black slacks and shoes, and he has a long curly dark beard.
The woman looks at him disgustedly. "Jews like you," she hisses at him.
He looks up at her, puzzled, and says, "I beg your pardon, madam?"
She says, "Look at you. All in black, a beard, never take off your hat! It's Jews like you that give the rest of us a bad name."
He says calmly, "I beg your pardon, madam, but I am not Jewish. I'm Amish."
The woman looks back and smiles, "How nice. You've kept your customs."
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After forty years of pious observance, the old man had had it. He told his wife, "I'm tired of getting up early every morning to put on tefillin and say the same prayers. I'm not going to do it any more. I'm going to turn Catholic."
True to his word, he contacted a priest and began taking instruction in the Catholic faith. After several months, he did indeed become a Catholic.
Next morning, as he always did, he got up early and automatically began to put on his tefillin. "What are you doing?" asked his wife. "I thought you turned Catholic so you wouldn't have to do that any more."
"Oy!" cried the old fellow, smacking himself in the head, "goyishe kup!"
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From the mouths of babes...
In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off.
Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals came on to in pears.
Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals.
Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.
Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.
Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients.
The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert.
Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments.
The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
The Fifth Commandment is to humor thy father and mother.
The Seventh Commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
Moses died before he ever reached Canada.
Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar.
He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you.
He also explained, "Man doth not live by sweat alone."
The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.
The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was, by profession, a taximan.
St. Paul cavorted to Christianity.
He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.
A Christian should have only one wife; this is called monotony.
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Canine Bar Mitzvah
There was once a man who wanted to make a bar mitzvah for his dog. He decided that he would consult his Orthodox Rabbi and seek his advice.
The Rabbi said "Are you crazy!!! a Bar Mitzvah for a dog."
The man replied, "Yes, Rabbi. He has been part of my family for thirteen years"
The rabbi said, "I'm sorry. I can't do this for you"
The man continued and went along to a conservative rabbi and the rabbi responded in the same way "I can't do a Bar Mitzvah for a dog".
The man went ahead and asked his local Reform Rabbi if he would do the Bar Mitzvah for him. The Rabbi said, "Listen, we do a lot of crazy things around here but a Bar Mitzvah for a dog is absurd."
The frustrated man responded, "Rabbi, I'll give you $18,000 to do this for me......Please..!!!" The Rabbi quickly shot his head around and said "You never told me the dog was Jewish."
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Two beggars were sitting next to each other. One holds a sign saying "Please help the war veteran", and the other holds a sign saying "Please help a poor Jew."
People pass by and even those who didn't intend to give money to any of them, give to the first to snub the Jew. One good man passes by, gives money equally to both, and then says to the Jew: "Why don't you change your sign? Don't you understand that nobody will give you any money?" and walks away.
As he goes, the Jew turns to the other one and says: "Nu, Haim, and he would teach US business..."
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Ask the Rabbi
Q: Is one permitted to ride in an airplane on Shabbos?
A: Yes, as long as your seat belt remains fastened. Then it is considered as if you are wearing the plane.
Q: On Sukkos, is one allowed to use hoshanas if he knows they have been stolen?
A: What's the matter, you never heard of a Hoshana Robber?
Q: Does the Talmudic tractate Bubbe Metzia refer to a young bubbe or to an old bubbe?
A: A young bubbe. If she were an old bubbe, she wouldn't be a metzia.
Q: Are women in shul allowed to be given hagbah?
A: Only those willing to take the Law into their own hands.
Q: According to halakhah, is smoking permissible, even if it endangers your health?
A: Yes, as long as you sell your lungs to a non-Jew.
Next week, the Rabbi will deal with whether you are allowed to launder money on Chol HaMoed.
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A Jewish boy in grade school was listening to his Hebrew teacher quoting the Shema.
"The L-rd our G-d is One," the teacher declared.
"When will He be two?" the youngster asked.
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Let go, let G-d!
A man was walking in the mountains just enjoying the scenery when he stepped too close to the edge of the mountain and started to fall. In desperation he reached out and grabbed a limb of a gnarly old tree hanging onto the side of the cliff. Full of fear he assessed his situation. He was about 100 feet down a shear cliff and about 900 feet from the floor of the canyon below. If he should slip again he'd plummet to his death. Full of fear, he cries out, "Help me!" But there was no answer. Again and again he cried out but to no avail.
Finally he yelled, "Is anybody up there?"
A deep voice replied, "Yes, I'm up here."
"Who is it?"
"It's the L-rd"
"Can you help me?"
"Yes, I can help."
Looking around the man became full of panic. "What?!?!"
"Let go. I will catch you."
"Uh... Is there anybody else up there?"
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Bar Mitzvah: (n/masc); pl. "Bnei Mitzvah"); literally, "son of the Mitzvah;" more correctly, the status of having reached the level of being obligated in all the responsibilities and entitled to all the privileges of an adult male, in Jewish Society. In Judaism, this status is attained when a young man reaches the age of thirteen years. This milestone is considered a bitter-sweet time, a time when the parents have the "nachas," the "pleasure of seeing the fruits of their labor," their son growing into adulthood, but which is also a large step closer to his leaving their home. The son is generally called up to make a "bracha" on the Torah at the first opportunity after he reaches this status, and may read the Parashah and/or the Haftarah. The father is also given an "Aliyah" after his son's, at which he recites the additional blessing, "Blessed is He Who has relieved me of the punishment of this boy." A "Seudah," a festive meal, is often celebrated in honor of this event, at which the son may say some words of Torah.
Bubbe: (n) (Yiddish) Grandmother; little grandmother; term of endearment.
Chicken Soup: (n) The proverbial cure-all provided by any good Jewish mother worthy of the name.
Chol haMoed: (n) (Hebrew) FESTIVAL BETWEEN DAY. "Secular (intermediate days) of the (holy) set times." Intermediate days of a Jewish festival, marked by some restrictions of the festival and some of the holiness.
Goy: (n) Gentile; non-Jew; sometimes said disparagingly, though the Jews themselves are referred to by God as a goy kadosh (holy nation). The term goyim acherim (other nations) found in the Prophets became shortened to goyim (pl. of goy), and then by back-formation, a non-Jew was referred to as a goy.
Goyish: (adj) Gentile-like.
Goyishe Kop: (n) (Yiddish) "Gentile head" (kup), usually said of a Jew who is not thinking well or has cockamamie ideas. Often contrasted with Yiddishe Kup -- "Jewish smarts."
Hagbah: (n) (Hebrew) "raising." After the Torah is read a person is honored with raising the Torah high above his head. (Sephardim) Before the Torah is read a person is honored with holding the Torah case and opening it for the congregation to see.
Halakhah: (n) (Hebrew) f., pl. "Halakhot"); This word is used in two senses: one is as a singular, meaning a single Jewish Law; for example, that one has to recite a "berachah," a blessing, before one eats an apple. The second sense is as a collective noun, referring to "all of Jewish Law." For example, a Rabbi should be an expert in all of "Halachah." The word derives from the Hebrew "shoresh," or root, "lech," "to go." The reason is that it describes a "path to follow," or a "way on which to go," in life.
Metzia: (n) (Yiddish) A bargain (used sarcastically). As in: "I hear Ecstasy has $50 laps for a 2.5 minute song. What a metzia."
Oy!: (excl) (Yiddish) Oh! Ugh!
Oy vey!: (excl) (Yiddish) "Oh pain!"
Shabbat / Shabbos: (n) (Hebrew) Friday sunset to Saturday sunset considered as a "day of rest." The period from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset that commemorates God resting after creating the world. No work may be done (including using electricity, cooking, and carrying things outside. Also spelled Shabbes or Shabbos by Ashkenazi Jews.
Shabbat Shalom! (excl) A Hebrew greeting on the Sabbath meaning "Sabbath peace."
Sukkot / Sukkos: (n) The Biblical Holiday which commemorates Hashem's provision of His Clouds of Glory to escort the Jewish People through the desert. According to another opinion which does not disagree that HaShem provided Clouds of Glory, but maintains that the Holiday focuses on a different aspect of G-d's protection; namely, the psychological, that HaShem enabled the Jews to find comfort in the temporary huts which we call "Sukkot," even in the harsh conditions of the desert. Both opinions agree that the theme of the holiday is G-d's protection. "Mitzvot," or Commandments of this Holiday include dwelling in a Sukkah, and waving in all directions a set of four species: the "lulav," or palm branch, the "etrog," or citron, a group of three "hadasim," or myrtle branches, and a set of two "aravot," or willow branches, to show that HaShem rules over nature everywhere.
Talmud: (n) (Hebrew) Repository of "Oral Law" of Judaism; consists of Mishnah and Gemara. There exist two versions: the Babylonian, or "Bavli" (this is the most frequently used version) and the Jerusalem, or "Yerushalmi." It is similar to an encyclopedia, but with by no means as strict a structure. It consists of sixty three "Masechtot," or volumes, such as "Berachot," or "Blessings and Prayers," and "Sanhedrin," or "The Jewish Supreme Court," etc. It was written/compiled by Rav Ashi and his colleagues ca. 500 C.E., preserving generations of analysis and discussion by "Amoraim" of the more concise Mishnah, which contains the discussions of the "Tannaim". It also contains extra-legal and anecdotal material relating to all aspects of life. It is similar, in breadth and organization and random-access type memory organization, to the Internet and worldwide web, but is far deeper and qualitatively not comparable. It is referred to as the "Sea of the Talmud."
Teffilin: (n) (Hebrew) (f.); an untranslatable term, translated as "phylacteries," a "ritual object" that is a combination of two components: "Tefilin shel Yad", Tefilin worn on the Arm, or Hand and Tefilin shel Rosh, Tefilin worn on the Head. A Jewish boy begins to wear "Tefilin" when he becomes "Bar Mitzvah." Both the "shel Yad" and the "shel Rosh" consist of black leather boxes, each containing the four Scriptural passages that command the observance of this Command.
The "Tefilin shel Yad" is set on the arm, opposite the heart, and the "Tefilin shel Rosh" is set upon the head, opposite the brain, to convey the idea that the feelings of one's heart and the thoughts of one's mind are all placed in the service of G-d.
Yiddish: (n) Germanic language spoken by about four million Jews throughout the world. The name Yiddish itself means 'Jewish' and is originally short for Yiddish daytsh, or 'Jewish German'; an older term in English is Judaeo-German. The language arose in central Europe between the 9th and 12th centuries as an amalgam of Middle High German dialects, incorporating also many Hebrew words. Like Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish), Yiddish is generally written using an adaptation of the Hebrew alphabet. However, Yiddish itself is not linguistically related to Hebrew, despite containing a large component of Hebrew vocabulary.
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