A Better Beggar
Mustafa and Hassan, two immigrants from the Middle East living in Manhattan, both decided to try making money by panhandling on the streets of New York. But after a month of begging, Mustafa was only successful at collecting about $5 to $10 a day, while Hassan would regularly come home with a suitcase full of $100 bills.
Finally, one day Mustafa asked Hassan “How do you always bring home so much money, while I can barely scrape together a few dollars?”
“Tell me,” Hassan replied, “what does your sign say?”
Mustafa read his sign: “I have no work, a wife, and six kids.”
“No wonder you only get a few dollars a day!” Hassan said.
“Why, what’s wrong with my sign?” Mustafa asked.
Hassan showed him what was written on his sign: “Need only $50 more to get back to Iran.”
Shirley Feldman’s preparations for a visit from her children included a trip to the bank. Waiting in line at the teller’s window, Shirley lamented to a middle-aged man behind her, “My children are in their 20s, and I’m still giving them money. When does it end?”
“I’m not sure I’m the one to ask,” the man said while glancing uncomfortably at a paper in his hand, “I’m here to deposit a check from my mother.”
Rivka was holding her little baby, Yitzy, while talking to her mother. “I haven’t slept in three days,” Rivka complained. “Yitzy is teething and he’s up all night crying.”
“Why don’t you just rub a thimble-full of brandy on his gums? That will numb them up and put him right to sleep.” answered the new grandma.
“I can’t give my baby alcohol! Who knows what that will do to him.?”
“Yitzy will be fine, I guarantee it!” said the grandma.
“How can you guarantee something like that?” asked Rivka.
“Because I did it to you every night and you turned out OK!”
At an international medical conference, an American, a Frenchman, and a Saudi Arabian were discussing the shortcomings of modern medicine. The American said, “It’s really frustrating sometimes. We treat patients for arthritis, and then we find signs of joint disease.”
“I know what you mean,” said the Frenchman. “We treat them for yellow fever and find out later that they have malaria.”
“We don’t have that problem in our country,” said the Saudi Arabian doctor. “When we treat patients for a disease, they always die of that very same disease.”
Sharing the Catch
A matchmaker needed to find eligible young men for two different girls. Traveling to the neighboring village, he was only able to find one suitable boy – and the mothers of both girls wanted him for their daughters. Unable to deal with the bickering, the matchmaker took them to the rabbi for arbitration.
The rabbi listened to the whole story, and finally said, “This is a very difficult situation. Who is truly destined to marry this young man? I will borrow the wisdom of King Solomon to answer this question. Just as King Solomon said to cut the disputed baby in half, I say to cut the young man in half and share him.”
At first everyone was silent, as no one believed the rabbi was serious. But then, one mother exclaimed, “Okay, so cut him!”
The rabbi immediately stood up, pointed to her and said, “Aha! That’s the real mother-in-law!”
Aches and Pains
At the Beth Israel nursing home in Boca Raton Florida a group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their aches and pains. “My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said Applebaum.
“I know what you mean. My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,” replied Shiffman.
“I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said Markewitz, to which several nodded weakly in agreement.
“My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” Himmlefarb contributed.
“I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” winced Goldberg as he slowly shook his head. Then there was a short moment of silence.
“Well, it’s not that bad,” said Rosenbloom cheerfully. “Thank Gd we can all still drive.”
The Angel’s Cake
An overweight business associate of mine decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic cake. We all scolded him, but his smile remained painted on his face.
“This is a very special cake,” he explained. “I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, Gd, if you want me to have one of those delicious cakes, let me find a parking place directly in front of the bakery.’”
“And sure enough,” he continued, “by the eighth time around the block, there it was!”
Older and Wiser
Our rabbi announced that admission to a shul social event would be $6 per person. “However,” he added, “if you’re over 65, the price will be only $5.50.”
From the back of the congregation, a woman’s voice rang out, “Do you really think I’d give up that information for only 50 cents?”
Lost in Emotion
Our nephew was getting married to a doctor’s daughter. At the wedding reception, the father of the bride stood to read his toast, which he had scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. Several times during his speech, he halted, overcome with what I assumed was a moment of deep emotion. But after a particularly long pause, he explained, “I’m sorry. I can’t seem to make out what I’ve written down.” Looking out into the audience, he asked, “Is there a pharmacist in the house?”
Worshipping in the Digital Age
A young man walked in to shul and, instead of heading for the bookshelves to take a siddur, he just took out his iPhone and began praying. An older person, apparently not too tech savvy, approached and asked him what he was doing.
“I downloaded all the prayers on to my phone,” the young man responded, “so I can read it directly from here instead of from a siddur.”
“Well in that case, why are you saying it?” the older person asked. “Just highlight the text and press ‘Send’…”