Rabbi Joseph Kahaneman was the founder of the ultra-Orthodox, world-renowned Ponevitz yeshiva in B'nai B'rak, a suburb of Tel Aviv. During his world travels, Kahaneman raised funds to establish many Jewish schools.

Upon arriving in one city, he heard about a phenomenally wealthy local Jew. Kahaneman told a friend that he intended to solicit him. "It's a waste of time," his friend told him. "The man is violently anti-Orthodox. The moment he sees your long beard and coat, he won't give you a penny."

Sure enough, when Rabbi Kahaneman met with the man, he proved to be as hostile to Orthodoxy as his friend had predicted. "But surely," Rabbi Kahaneman entreated, "you want to help Jewish youngsters get a good education?"

"I'll tell you what," the man said. "Since education matters so much to you, let me make you an offer. I will give you all the money you need to build a Jewish elementary school, on one condition. The students are forbidden to wear a head-covering at any time, even when they study Torah or make a blessing before eating."

"And if I accept this condition," Rabbi Kahaneman answered, "you will personally donate all the money that's needed."

The man laughed. "That sort of Jewish school, I'll be happy to build."

Rabbi Kahaneman extended a hand. "Agreed."

A year later, the man was invited to come to the school's opening. On top of the beautiful building, a large sign proclaimed: "The New B'nai Brak School for Girls."

The telephone rings in the Rabbi's office.

"Hello is this Rabbi Weinberg?"
"Yes, it is."

"This is John Smith of the Internal Revenue Service. Can you help us?"
"What can I do for you?"

"Do you know a Sam Cohen?"
"I do."

"Is he a member of your congregation?"
"He is."

"Did he donate $10,000?"
"He will!"

Moshe came down the mountain with the two Tablets of the Law. He excitedly told the assembled Jewish people that he now had the Ten Commandments in hard copy. What is more, the total number of commandments in the Torah is 613, not 10. Not only that, every single Jewish person's name is coded in the Torah and could readily be accessed.

The excited Jews asked for a demonstration. Moshe chose a volunteer and asked his name. "Chayim Beryl? That'll be easy." He reached into the folds of his robe and the entire assembly gasped as one. They saw what is normally only heard: the latest, most enhanced, slimmest Notebook computer in existence!

Moshe pressed a number of buttons, frowned, and then angrily banged a few more. "I'm sorry, I cannot find your name."

"Oh No! My name isn't there? It's not fair. How could G-d do this to me?"

"What! You would blame G-d, ye rebel? Do not blame Him; the one at fault is Bill Gates."

A passenger jet was suffering through a severe thunderstorm. As the passengers were being bounced around by the turbulence, an older woman became frightened. Noticing a Lubavitcher chassid sitting across the aisle, she called out to him. With a nervous laugh she asked, "Rabbi, you're a man of G-d, can't you do something about this storm?"

To which he replied, "I'm, sorry, Ma'am; I'm in sales, not management..."

A Texan, a Frenchman and an Israeli are on a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean when the engines stop functioning. The plane crash lands on a Pacific Island and the 3 are immediately captured by a tribe of cannibals and taken to their village.

The Chief tells the 3 captives that these cannibals are civilized and they have a custom on their island that before they eat anyone, they grant that person his or her last wishes--no matter what they are.

He asks the Texan, "What is your last wish?"

The Texan replies: "I want a 2 inch thick steak with all the trimmings, cajun fries and case of beer."

The Chief motions to some of his tribesmen who immediately run into the jungle and come back with the steak, the fries and the beer. The Texan eats his meal and he is thrown in the pot.

The Frenchman is asked: "What is your last wish?"

He replies: "I'd like a case of the most expensive Champagne and I'd also like a big plate of escargot cooked in the French manner."

The Chief motions to his tribesmen who immediately rush off into the jungle and bring back everything the Frenchman asked for. He eats and drinks his fill and he is then thrown in the pot.

The Chief turns to the Israeli and asks, "And what is your wish?"

The Israeli looks the Chief squarely in the eyes and replies: "I want you to kick me in the behind as hard as you can."

The Chief is bewildered and asks the Israeli again, only to receive the same reply.

The Chief shrugs his shoulders, asks the Israeli to turn around, and kicks him as hard as he can.

With that the Israeli pulls out an Uzi submachine gun and kills the Chief and all of the other cannibals.

The Texan and the Frenchman look at the Israeli and say: "If you had that gun why didn't you do anything sooner?"

The Israeli replies: "What? And risk being condemned by the UN for being an aggressor and reacting to insufficient provocation!"

Two Hassidim were walking down the street. A thief sprang out of a dark doorway, stuck a gun in their direction and said, "Give me all your cash, Jews, or I'll shoot!" Feeling they had no choice, they quickly complied. Thus, the thief succeeded in robbing them and got away with the loot of the frum.

(We realize not everyone will get this one. "Fruit of the Loom" is a major brand name in the USA, but we don't know the extent of their international distribution. "Frum," a Yiddish expression, is equivalent to "dati" in Hebrew or "mitzvah-observant" in English.)

(Adapted from a submission by Barry Austern to "carl's jewish humor list" <> )

Two bumblebees were whizzing in the air and conversing. One of them complained of not being able to find anything to eat and being so hungry.

"Go to the synagogue," suggested his friend. "It's a bar mitzvah today. There'll be plenty of food."

A few hours later he spotted his formerly ravished buddy, now looking sleekly satisfied. "What's that silly looking thing on your head?" he inquired.

"It's called a kippah."

"What's it for?"

"I didn't want them to think I was a wasp!"

[If you are not familiar with Polish-Galitzian-Hungarian Jewish accents, you might not get this one.]

This happened in the English class at a chassidic yeshiva. The teacher presented the students with a list of vocabulary words and gave them a homework assignment to write each word in a sentence. On the list was the word 'devout'.

One student returned the next day with the following sentence: "My father has long devouts."

Upon reading it, the principal asked the student if he was trying to make a joke out of the assignment. "No," the boy replied with a sincere look, "I looked up 'devout' in the dictionary, and it said, 'pious.'

If Joe Lieberman is inaugurated as vice-president of the United States of America, at the end of the ceremony will they break a glass?

(submitted by several correspondents, along with nine others that are even sillier)

In the early 1900s, an old Jew was traveling alone in his compartment on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The train stops and an officer in the czar's army gets on. He and the Jew travel for a while in silence. Suddenly the officer grabs the Jew by the lapels and demands: "Tell me: how is it you Jews so much brighter than everyone else?"

The Jew is silent a moment, then responds: "It's because of the herring that we eat."

The officer quiets down and the trip resumes. Soon the Jew takes out a piece of herring and starts to eat it. The officer asks him: "How many more pieces of that herring do you have?"

"A dozen."

"How much do you want for them?"

"Twenty rubles" [a big sum of money].

The officer takes out the money and gives it to the Jew. The old man gives him the herring, and the officer takes a bite. Suddenly he stops. "This is ridiculous," he says. "In Moscow I could have bought all this herring for a few kopecks."

"You see," says the Jew, "it's working already."

Adapted from Jewish Humor by Joseph Telushkin (Quill)

Overheard in synagogue: A slender chassid --let's call him "Lulav"--addressing his visibly overweight companion, "Etrog."
Lulav: Listen, Etrog, my friend, you have to do something about your condition; you have to get into shape.
Etrog: Relax. Lulav, I am in shape.
Lulav: Ha, ha! Who are you kidding? Look at that pot-belly.
Etrog: That's all right. I told you, I'm in shape: Round is a shape!!!

NASA had sent many many shuttles to orbit the earth. They made an attempt to include passengers of all races, color and creed. When they recently realized they had excluded the clergy, they invited, a priest, a minister and a rabbi to orbit the earth in a shuttle.

Upon their return, crowds of people formed to hear their impressions. First the priest emerged, beaming and happy. Full of joy, he said, "It was absolutely amazing. I saw the earth become light and dark. I saw the beautiful oceans."

Then the minister emerged, also happy and at peace. He said, "I saw the magnificent earth, our home, I saw the majestic sun. I'm truly in awe".

Finally the rabbi came out. He was completely disheveled, his beard was tangled and in every direction, his kipah was frayed, his tallit was wrinkled; a real mess.

Startled, they asked him, "Rabbi, did you enjoy the flight?"

He threw his hands in the air crazily and replied, "Enjoy??? What was to enjoy? Oy yoy yoy! I tell you, it is not a proper place for a Jew. Every five minutes the sun was rising and setting! On with the tefillin, off with the tefillin; mincha, maariv, mincha, maariv! Gevalt!"

And then there was the family that refused to make the bar mitzvah in space, the latest fad. Why? No atmosphere!

It is said that there was once a Kabbalist in Zefat long ago who delved in ascetic practices. On weekdays he walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet became quite thick and hard. He also fasted frequently. And even when he was not fasting, he did not eat much. As a result he became quite thin and frail. Furthermore, due to his diet, he wound up with very bad breath. Therefore, he came to be known as a (get ready!):


Man: Rabbi, do you know that because of your sermon yesterday I couldn't sleep all night?

Rabbi: (very pleased and surprised) Really?!! Which particular point stirred you so?

Man: Well, to tell you the truth, you see, when I sleep in the day I can't fall asleep it night, and your talk in the afternoon put me into a deep slumber!

As you may know, in slalom race the skier must pass through about 20 "gates" in the fastest possible time. Well, it happened that once Israel had the fastest slalom skier in the world and so had great expectations for an Olympic gold medal. Came the day of the final. The crowd waited in anticipation.

The French champion sped down the course in 38 seconds. The Swiss in 38.7 seconds, the German in 37.8 seconds and the Italian in 38.1 seconds.

Next came the Israeli champion's turn ...the crowd waited, and waited...SIX MINUTES!!!

"What happened to you?" screamed his trainer when the Israeli finally arrived.

Replied the exhausted Israeli: "Who's the wiseguy that put a mezuzah on each gate?"

An archaeologist digging in Israel's Negev Desert came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of Israel's most prestigious natural history museum.

"I've just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure," the excited scientist exclaimed.

To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out."

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist.

"You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?"

"Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand. It read, '10,000 shekels on Goliath'."

The Jewish High School chess club had just won their third state chess tournament. All the proud members were standing in the large glass ceiling lobby of the hotel where the tournament was held discussing their recent victory. Just then the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.

"But why?" they asked, as they were being ushered out.

"Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

Russian class of indoctrinated 6 year olds:

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 1:Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? An engineer

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 2: Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Doctor

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 3: Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Chemist

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 4: Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Physicist

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 5: Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Policeman

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 6: Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? A General

Teacher: Who is your father? Child 7(Jewish): Joseph Stalin
Who is your mother? Mother Russia
What do you want to be when you grow up? An Orphan!!

There was once a Jew who wanted to buy a horse. He went to a few dealers, but without satisfaction. Finally, he came to a farmer who said to him, "I have just the horse for you. Here, try him." The Jew mounted the horse and said "Gidiyap", but the horse didn't budge.

Said the farmer: "I told you. This is a horse for Jews. You have to say to it, Boruch HaShem." The Jew was skeptical, but when he called out "Boruch HaShem" the horse sprang into motion. "Whoa!" said the Jew, but the horse kept going.

"Hey, how do you stop this horse?" he screamed to the farmer. "Say Shma Yisroel", the farmer shouted back. "Shma Yisroel!" cried out the Jew, and sure enough, the horse stopped.

Delighted at this extrairdinary find, the Jew promptly made the purchase.

A few days later, he went for a ride on his new horse. As they galloped along, the Jew suddenly realized they were headed directly toward the edge of a steep cliff. He tried to stop the horse, but in his fright, he forgot the correct words. He tugged on the reins, yelled "Whoa! Stop! Halt!", but nothing worked. Then, remembering it was a "Jewish horse," he screamed out every Hebrew phrase he could think of, but the horse kept going.

The Jew saw that he and the horse would momentarily be over the cliff. In the way that Jews have always done in their final moments, he put his hand over his eyes and shouted the great affirmation of our unique faith: "Shma Yisroel, G-d is our Lord, G-d is one."

The horse stopped right at the edge of the cliff.

"Whew," said the Jew, taking out his handkerchief and wiping his forehead, "That was a close one! Thank G-d!-Boruch HaShem!"

Once upon a time there was an American rabbi and an Israeli bus driver. They both died and they both went to heaven. But the bus driver had a better place in heaven than the rabbi.

"I can't understand it," complained the rabbi to a passing angel. "How can you, a bus driver, have a higher place than me, a rabbi?"

"It's simple," replied the angel. "When you would speak to your congregation, they would all fall asleep. But when he would drive his bus, everybody started praying!"

At a country fair, the strongman impresses everyone with magnificent feats of strength. For his final act, he takes a lemon and squeezes it. At first, the juice dribbles out quickly, then it slows down, and finally not a single drop comes out. The promoter steps forward and says: "I will personally give anyone who can squeeze even one more drop from this lemon these two hundred dollar bills." He displays them to the crowd. Two short-sleeved large men with huge biceps step forward. Each one squeezes the lemon with all his might, but not a drop comes out.
"Does anyone else want to try?" the manager asks.

A short, slightly built man with eyeglasses wearing a respectable suit steps forward. People in the crowd snicker. The man picks up the lemon and squeezes it. Juice gushes out. The manager is stunned, but he hands over the money. As he does so, he can't resist asking the man: "Who are you? What do you do?"

"My name is Daniel Levy," the man answers. "I'm this region's fund-raiser for the JJJ."

[for 'JJJ,' fill in the name of your favorite Jewish organization].

(Our apologies, but this final one requires some familiarity with the current Israeli political scene, Hebrew vernacular, and a 20th century religious innovation.)

Did you hear that Tommy Lapid and Yossi Sarid have undertaken to learn Daf Yomi?


It seems they found out that if you indeed sit down and study the daily page of Talmud, every day, seven days a week, there is the possibility that in less than seven years you can gomer et Shas!


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