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"The Jewish people have observed their 5758th year as a people." the Hebrew teacher informed his class. "Consider that the Chinese have observed only their 4695th. What does this mean to you?"

After a reflective pause, one student volunteered, "Well for one thing, the Jews had to do without Chinese food for 1063 years."

A woman goes to her butcher Feinberg and asks the price of lamb chops.
"$2.50 a pound," he tells her.
"But Cohen across the street sells them for $2.00 a pound," she protests.
"Nu, so go buy from Cohen," says the butcher.
"He's all out," she explains.
"Oh," says Feinberg, "when I'm out of lamb chops they're only $1.50 a pound."

A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished, but, amazingly, neither of the clerics is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says, "So -- you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There's nothing left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days."

The priest replies, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God."

The rabbi continues, "And look at this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Mogen David wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune." He hands the bottle to the priest. The priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to the priest. The priest asks, "Aren't you having any?" The rabbi replies, "No . . . I think I'll wait for the police."

This is most of the text from a little book called "The Optimist Sees the Bagel, the Pessimist sees the Hole. (Life's Little Jewish Instruction Book) by Leonard Sorcher

  • The optimist sees the bagel, the pessimist sees the hole.
  • If you can't say something nice, say it in Yiddish.
  • It's not who you know, it's who you know had a nose job.
  • If it tastes good, it's probably not kosher.
  • Who else could have invented the 50 minute hour?
  • WASPs leave and never say good-bye. Jews say good-bye and never leave.
  • Twenty percent off is a bargain; fifty percent off is a mitzvah.
  • Remember, even Sandy Koufax didn't play ball on Yom Kippur.
  • There's nothing like a good belch.
  • Israel is the land of milk and honey; Florida is the land of milk of magnesia.
  • Never pay retail.
  • Pork is forbidden, but a pig in a blanket makes a nice hors d'oeuvre.
  • No one leaves a Jewish wedding hungry; but then again, no one leaves with a hangover.
  • The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.
  • And what's so wrong with dry turkey?
  • If your name was Lipschitz, you'd change it, too.
  • Always leave a little room for the Viennese table.
  • Always whisper the names of diseases.
  • One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.
  • If you don't eat, it will kill me.
  • Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
  • The most important word to know in any language is sale.
  • Where there's smoke, there may be smoked salmon.
  • Never take a front-row seat at a bris.
  • Prune danish is definitely an acquired taste.
  • Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
  • Never leave a restaurant empty-handed.
  • Spring ahead, fall back, winter in Miami Beach.
  • The important Jewish holidays are the ones on which alternate-side-of-the street parking is suspended.
  • You need 10 men for a minyan, but only four in polyester pants and white shoes for pinochle.
  • A bad matzoh ball makes a good paperweight.
  • A schmata is a dress that your husband's ex is wearing.
  • Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?
  • Before you read the menu, read the prices.
  • There comes a time in every man's life when he must stand up and tell his mother he's an adult. This usually happens at around age 45.
  • According to Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in Chinese restaurants.
  • Tsuris is a Yiddish word that means your child is marrying someone who isn't Jewish.
  • If you're going to whisper at the movies, make sure it's loud enough for everyone else to hear.
  • No meal is complete without leftovers.
  • What business is a yenta in? Yours.
  • If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure you tell everybody what you paid.
  • The only thing more important than a good education is a good parking spot at the mall.
  • Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a big Cadillac and eating dinner at four in the afternoon.
  • Schmeer today, gone tomorrow.

About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave. The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked a middle aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk. The pope agreed.

The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger.

The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay."

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Moishe, "First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here."

"And then?" asked a woman.

"I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."

A Rabbi is walking slowly out of a Schule in New York when a gust of wind blows his hat down the street. He is an old man with a cane and can't walk fast enough to catch his hat. Across the street a man sees what has happened and rushes over to grab the hat and returns it to the Rabbi. "I don't think I would have been able to catch my hat." the Rabbi says. "Thank you very much." The Rabbi places his hand on his shoulder and says, "May God bless you."

The young man thinks to himself, "I've been blessed by the Rabbi, this must be my lucky day!" So he goes to the racetrack and in the first race he sees there is a horse named Stetson at 20 to 1. He bets $50 and sure enough the horse comes in first. In the second race he sees a horse named Fedora at 30 to 1 so he bets it all and this horse comes in first also. Finally at the end of the day he returns home to his wife who asks him where he's been. He explains how he caught the Rabbi's hat and was blessed by him and the went to the track and started winning on horses that had a hat in their names. "So where's the money?" she says. "I lost it all in the ninth race. I bet on a horse named Chateau and it lost." "You fool!" she said, "Chateau is a house, Chapeau is a hat." "It doesn't matter," he said, "the winner was some Japanese horse named Yarmulka."

An old Jewish man goes to a diner every day for lunch. He always orders the soup du jour. One day the manager asks him how he liked his meal.

The old man replies (with Yiddish accent) "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread."

So the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him four slices of bread. "How was your meal, sir?" the manager asks. "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread", comes the reply.

So the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him eight slices of bread. "How was your meal today, sir?" the manager asks. "Wass goot, but you could give a little more bread", comes the reply.

So ... the next day the manager tells the waitress to give him a whole loaf of bread with his soup. "How was your meal, sir?" the manager asks, when he comes to pay. "Wass goot, but you could give just a little more bread", comes the reply once again.

The manager is now obsessed with seeing this customer say that he is satisfied with his meal, so he goes to the bakery, and orders a six-foot-long loaf of bread. When the man comes in as usual the next day, the waitress and the manager cut the loaf in half, butter the entire length of each half, and lay it out along the counter, right next to his bowl of soup. The old man sits down, and devours both his bowl of soup, and both halves of the six-foot-long loaf of bread.

The manager now thinks he will get the answer he is looking for, and when the old man comes up to pay for his meal, the manager asks in the usual way: "How was your meal TODAY, sir?"

The old man replies: "It wass goot as usual, but I see you are back to giving only two slices of bread!"

A young woman brings home her fiance to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites the fiancee to his study for a drink.

"So what are your plans?" the father asks the young man.

"I am a Torah scholar." he replies.

"A Torah scholar. Hmmm," the father says. "admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she's accustomed to?"

"I will study," the young man replies, "and God will provide for us."

"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asks the father.

"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replies, "God will provide for us."

"And children?" asks the father. "How will you support children?"

"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," replies the fiance.

The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions, the young idealist insists that God will provide.

Later, the mother asks, "How did it go, Honey?"

The father answers, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is, he thinks I'm God."

A man wonders when life truly begins. So he goes to a priest and asks for his opinion on this question.

After consulting the Bible, the priest says, "My son, after an exhaustive search, I am positive that life begins upon the union of egg and sperm."

The man thinks: "What does a priest know about life?" After all, anyone in the Catholic clergy would be saying that due to the shrinking of their flock in the past several decades.

The man decides to ask a Unitarian minister and receives different reply: "The beginning of life is not something that can be determined exactly. Even the words "beginning" and "life" are too broadly defined to arrive at a meaningful answer. However we will be having a discussion group about this in three weeks if you would like to attend", the minister said.

Not pleased with the reply, and unwilling to wait for three weeks he seeks out the ultimate authority: a man of thousands of years' tradition and knowledge. In other words, he goes to a rabbi. The Rabbi briefly ponders the question, then states, "My son, it's quite simple. Life begins when all the kids leave the nest and the dog dies."

My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one. As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter? You didn't like the other one?"

During the first day of Hanukah, two elderly Jewish men were sitting in a wonderful deli frequented almost exclusively by Jews in New York City. They were talking amongst themselves in Yiddish - the colorful language of Jews who came over from Eastern Europe.

A Chinese waiter, only one year in New York, came up and in fluent impeccable Yiddish asked them if everything was okay and if they were enjoying the holiday.

The Jewish men were dumbfounded. "Where did he ever learn such perfect Yiddish?" they both thought. After they paid the bill they asked the restaurant manager, an old friend of theirs, "Where did our waiter learn such fabulous Yiddish?"

The manager looked around and leaned in so no one else will hear and said... "Shhhh. He thinks we're teaching him English."

A Jewish mother is walking with her small son along the shore, enjoying the sounds and smells of the ocean. Suddenly, without warning, a huge wave comes in and washes the boy out to sea. The woman screams, but no one is nearby, and she can't swim. She sees her son's head bobbing up and down as he cries for help and moves farther and farther from shore.

Desperate, she sinks to her knees in the sand. Pleading with God for mercy, she swears she will devote herself to good causes and be faithful in attending synagogue if God will spare her only child.

Suddenly another huge wave crashes in, and deposits her son, wet but unhurt on the sand. She lifts her face to the heavens, extends both arms and cries...

"He had a HAT!!!!"

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