Sunday, September 20, 2009

I am Amish!"

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twersky is a Chassidic psychiatrist from Pittsburgh, who dresses in "serious Chassidic garb": the long black cote, the long white beard, the round black hat; you know – the full garb! Once on an airplane, he was approached by a very irritated and angry Jew. The Jew began chastising him in Yiddish:
"A shandeh! A bushah! What’s the matter with you? Why do you insist on prancing around in that medieval get-up? Don’t you realize how ridiculous you look. You bring scorn and derision onto all Jews! If you could only dress and behave like everybody else…"
"I fail to understand your verbiage," Dr. Twersky responded in a perfect English accent. "Is there something that is bothering you? Perhaps you're mistaking me for somebody else, but – (say very slowly:) I am Amish!"
"Oy vey! I beg your forgiveness," pleaded the quickly back-pedaling Jew. "I didn’t realize that you were Amish. I thought you were Hassidic. You should know that I only have the utmost respect for you and your people — keeping your ways without bowing to society’s whims of the day."
Now it was Dr. Twersky's turn to respond in Yiddish:
"Aha! Oyb eich volt geven Amish…" If I would have been Amish, then you have nothing but the utmost respect for me; but since I am Jewish, you are ashamed with me. Hopefully one day you will respect in your own people that which you admire in other people."

No comments: