Friday, October 7, 2011

JOKE - 10 dollars for the cheesecake, and 60 dollars for Israel

*A Jew walks into the bakery and orders a bagel. The man behind the counter
says: "A bagel? That's 20 dollars." "20 dollars?! Are you mad!?" "Well, its
1 dollar for the bagel, and 19 dollars for Israel." "Fine. Money for Israel?
How can I say no?"*

*  *

*The next day the same guy comes in to the bakery, and orders a challah. The
man behind the counter says: "Challah? That's 40 dollars." "Are you
insane?!" "Sir, its 5 dollars for the challah and 35 dollars for Israel."
The man shrugs his shoulders but he pays the money.*

*  *

*The third day, he comes in and orders a cheesecake. "Cheesecake? 70
dollars." "What?! This is absolutely crazy." "Sir, 10 dollars for the
cheesecake, and 60 dollars for Israel." At this point he had had enough.
"You are completely mad! This is absolutely absurd and unethical."*

*  *

*"Sorry sir, I am just following the rules." "I demand to speak to the owner
of the store!"*

*  *

*So the clerk goes to the door and calls out: "Hey Israel! Someone wants to
talk to you!"*

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There is a story told of the great Anshel Rotchild.
Everyone has heard of the famous, wealthy, banking family, the Rothschilds. The "founding father" of the Rothschild clan, which exists to this day, was Anshel Rothschild, an Orthodox Jew who lived in the middle of the nineteenth century in Austria. Anshel amassed a huge fortune and established a close relationship with the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph.

From time to time the Emperor would send visitors to the luxurious and famous palace of Anshel Rothschild. It was the most lavish,luxurious and well-appointed palace in all of Austria, and
everyone wanted to see its beauty and wealth.

During one visit Anshel took his guest, an important government official whose position was just under Emperor Franz Joseph, on a tour of the palace. He showed him room after room, and the guest was awed by the beauty of the gold, the silver, the furnishings,the chandeliers, the imported fabrics. Everything was a sight to behold. There existed nothing like it in all of Austria. When Anshel passed a certain door, he continued walking, but the guest asked to be shown the room behind the door.

 "I am sorry," said Anshel. "This is the one room in the palace that  I cannot show you."  "Why not?" asked the guest. I would love to see every nook and cranny of your remarkable palace.

 "I simply cannot," answered Anshel, and continued walking.  The tour concluded, and the official returned to his master, and  reported everything he saw. The palace was even more than one
could imagine. "However," said the official to the Emperor, "there  was one room that Anshel refused to show me."  "Why not?" asked the Emperor

 "I do not know. But I can guess. You know how wealthy those  Jews are. My theory is that in that room there is a magic moneymaking  machine. That is why he is so wealthy. Behind that door
 must be a machine that creates the wealth of Anshel Rothschild." The Emperor did not know whether to believe his official, so he  sent a second government official to see the palace of Anshel
 Rothschild. The second official came back with the same story.  And a third, and a fourth.

 This time the curiosity of Emperor Franz Joseph was greatly  aroused, so he decided to go himself and visit the palace. Anshel  took the Emperor for the same tour as he did all the other visitors from Franz Joseph's government. And when they reached the  "forbidden room," the Emperor asked to go inside and see what  was there.

 Anshel explained that that was the one place he could not show  anyone. After the Emperor insisted, Anshel gave in, and agreed to show the Emperor the secret room. He took out his keys, opened
 the door, and invited the Emperor to enter. Franz Joseph looked,  and was amazed at what he saw. There, in a small room, was a  simple pine box, and some plain white cloth on a table. That was
all there was!

 "What is this all about?" asked the Emperor.  "We Jews have strict rules about burial customs," explained Anshel. When a person dies, he must be buried in a very simple  coffin, a plain pine box. And his body must be enveloped in a  plain white shroud. This is to maintain the equality of all G-d's
creatures. No one is permitted to be buried in a fancy, expensive  coffin, or in luxurious clothing. Though some may live affluent  lives, and others may suffer dire, abject poverty, in death all are equal."

"But why is this here in this room?" asked the Emperor,  impressed but still confused.
 "At the end of each day, I come to this room, and view the coffin and the shrouds, and I am reminded that even though I have  great wealth and power and I have important influence in the
 highest echelons of the Austrian Empire, I am still one of G-d's simple creatures, and at the end of my life, this is the end I will come to like all of G-d's other children. I do this lest after a day  filled with high finance and major financial transactions, I think too highly of myself, and develop a bloated sense of myself."
Franz Joseph was amazed, and in fact, he was speechless. His respect for Anshel Rothschild grew even greater than before. He never questioned the sincerity, honesty or integrity of Anshel again.

Punch Line

My fellow congregants and friends, who wishes to die. NO ONE!
Who wishes to see there loved one’s die? NO  ONE. 
How often do we find that on or immediately after the High Holidays that someone should die, no too often. So you may say why worry, why be concerned! Rather, we know and understand that our days on earth are indeed limited and it is how we maximize this time on earth with acts of goodness and righteousness and the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos. It is these acts and good resolutions that will ensure us a sweet and prosperous year and of course follow us to the next world, and, It is also what we leave behind that we will be remembered for.

As we read the Yiskor today let us remember our loved departed parents and let us at the same time remember what it is they and all our ancestors taught us as Jews and let us find  the spark within us and reignite that spark toward the flame of Torah and mitzvoth.

Believers @ Niagara Falls

There was once a man who stretched a tightrope across Niagara Falls. A crowd
gathered as he walked across the falls on the tightrope and came back to the
same bank. He turned to the crowd and asked, "How many of you believe I can
walk back and forth on this tightrope, blindfolded?" The crowd cheered and
cried out, "We believe! We believe!". The man made the trip blindfolded. The
crowd went wild, cheering and clapping. The man then asked the crowd, " How
many of you believe I can walk this tightrope, blindfolded, pushing a wheel
barrow?" The crowd yelled even louder, "We believe! We believe!". The man
performed the feat once again and the crowd screamed and cheered ever louder
than before. This time he asked, "How many people believe I can walk this
tightrope, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow with someone inside it?" The
crowd went absolutely wild, yelling and screaming, "We believe! We
believe!". The man yelled over the roar, turned to the loudest believer and
said "OK, I need you to volunteer!"


From Rabbi Lazer Gurkow:

My wife, may she live and be well till 120, was explaining to my daughter
why adults fast on Yom Kippur. You know, she said, how children sometimes do
things that are not good like fighting or getting angry or not sharing? Yes,
my daughter nods. Well, says the seasoned mother, adults can sometimes (only
sometimes you see :-) also be guilty of such things. Soooo on Yom Kippur we
feel really badly for what we have done and we ask Hashem for
forgiveness.The way we ask is by fasting to show how sad we are that we did
the Avera.

So far so good, my daughter understands and is still with the program, but
her little mind is churning and she has one more question. Hmmmm, how do we
kids show Hashem that we are sad? Aaah, says my wise wife, children are
forgiven without fasting. They are forgiven simply by asking Hashem to
forgive them, telling Hashem how sorry they are for what they did and
promising to Hashem that they will never ever ever do it again. Now my wife
is thinking she got out of the woods with a pretty good explanation... but
to no avail.

My daughter screws up her little face with one of her classic rants. NO

Shliach & The Shofar

 "I want you to listen to this story of this Rabbi
Laine"  He went on to say how a few years ago it was rosh hashana and he and
his family attended services the first night and day of rosh hashana. by the
second day he wasn't interested in going to shul (again) and decided to go
have fun with his fam. He mentioned to his wife "lets get in the car quickly
because I have a feeling the Rabbino and family will be passing our house on
the way back from shul" He attempted to rush his family in the car before
rabbi laine came but sure enough as hes getting in the car, he sees a black
hat approaching getting closer and closer to his car.

>From his words: " I started sweating profusely and shaking. I turned off the
engine and opened the window. The rabbi didn't utter a sound. He nodded to
us and whipped a shofar out of his pocket. He started tekiah..all the sounds
felt like forever. My wife had tears streaming down her face. He finished,
put the shofar back in his pocket, said gut yom tov and left."

This guy turned to us and said that the very next shabbos they kept their
first shabbos!  What a powerful story of the epitome of what a shliach can
do and the power he has from the meshalayach,

Rabbi Cleans Streets

On the Tel Aviv street next to the Sadigerer Shul, an elderly Yemenite Jew
worked diligently, sweeping the street. He worked quickly and methodically,
sweeping first one side of the street and then the other. When he approached
the entrance to the shul, however, he stopped sweeping and passed by the
building with his broom aloft. Then he continued sweeping the road.

My grandfather, Rabbi Chaskel Besser, who resided in Tel Aviv at the time
and frequented the shul, noticed this odd behavior and wondered about it. He
approached the street cleaner and asked him how come he had not swept in
front of the shul.

The gentleman looked at my grandfather. "The rabbi doesn't allow me to."

My grandfather's curiosity was aroused, and he approached the Sadigerer
Rebbe and asked for an explanation, but the rabbi only smiled. My
grandfather asked again, and then again, until finally, the rabbi told his

The rabbi had been visiting Vienna in 1938 when the Nazis entered Vienna.
They immediately sought out the prominent Jews and arrested them, among them
the Sadigerer Rebbe.

In a chilling hint of the humiliation and degradation which they intended to
visit upon the Jews, they took these Jewish leaders and found different ways
to publicly disgrace them.

The Sadigerer Rebbe, a man of regal bearing and conduct, was given a little
brush and stood in front of the great Vienna Opera House. They placed a
small street cleaner's hat on his head, and ordered him to sweep the stairs
of the building with this ridiculously ineffective brush.

As this holy rabbi stooped on those ornate steps, tears streaming down his
cheeks, he whispered a prayer, and a vow, to God:

"Almighty, save me from these beasts. Lead me out of this country and to
your home, the land of Israel. And I promise that there I will sweep the
streets with delight and gratification."

The rabbi smiled at my grandfather. "Thus, I insist that the street cleaner
leave those precious few yards of sidewalk, the entrance to God's house, for
me to sweep."

A Tattoo in the Mikavh

 A baal Teshuvah immersing in a Mikvah on Erev Yom Kippur slipped just
before he reached the water, he slipped and lost his balance. Trying to
catch his fall, he let his hand off his arm, revealing a lewd tattoo.
Completely ashamed, he stood frozen in his spot. Everyone was at a loss for
words to comfort him until an old man said, "Look here, my boy, I also have
a tattoo." He pointed to the row of numbers etched in his skin. "This is in
case I forget what those monsters had planned for me. It seems we've both
come a long way."

It's not where we are coming from, but where we are going that matters.
Furthermore, all Jews can connect with one another, despite outward
differences. In essence, all Jews are one, and we can reveal this inner

"In G-d we trust" all other pay cash....

"In G-d we trust"  all other pay cash....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yizkor Story: Life is a play

Yizkor Story:

I was visiting  Jewish patients in S. Francis Hospital some months back,
when I walked into  the room of an elderly Jew named Irving, a holocaust
survivor, who was  obviously quite sick, surrounded by his entire family. I spent
some time with  him. We talked about the horrors of his youth, and how he
managed to continue  on living. He told me it was his mother?s words to him
on the last night  before we were separated. ?She sat me down and said to me:
Life is like a  play. (My mother loved the theater). Every one of us plays
a part. Not just  us, but our parents and grandparents, they?re parents and
grandparents, all  the way back to Abraham and Sarah. They?re all part of
this production. Each  of us plays a part, And then, when your part is over,
you go backstage. You?re  not gone, you?re still there, looking, cheering,
helping out in any way you  can from behind the scenes?

And then mama grabbed my hand, looked  me in the eye, and said: ?Yisrolik?
le, I don?t know what?s going to happen,  how long we?ll be together,
whether I?ll survive this. But one thing I ask of  you, If you survive. Don?t
give up, play your part. You might feel sad and  lonely, but I beg of you- don?
t give up. Play your role as best you can. Live  your life to the fullest.
I promise you, you won?t be alone. Tate un ich, babe  un zeide, mir velen
aleh zein mit dir oif eibig, Daddy and me, grandma and  grandpa, we will be
with you forever, we?ll be watching you from backstage.  I?m sure you won?t
let us down and you?ll play your part.? It was those words  from Mama that
got me out of bed on many a difficult morning.

By  the time the man finished the story, there wasn?t a dry eye in the

A few days later the man passed away. At the shiva, the  family kept
repeating the story about the play. It was clear they took comfort  from knowing
their father was still there, behind the scenes. Still, there was  a profound
sense of pain and loss.

They asked me to say a few  words. So I got up, turned to the family, and I
said: There is a postscript to  the story. What happens at the end of the
play? All the actors comes back out?  Right? Everyone comes out on the stage
to give a bow.  It is a basic  Jewish belief that all the neshomos, every
soul will come back and be with us  once again, right here in this world. I
assure you, I said, with G-d?s help,  you will soon be reunited with your

My dear beloved  friends, my fellow yiden, we?re about to say the Yiskor
prayer. Remembering  our loved ones whose souls join us right here in shul. Let
?s promise to make  them proud.Let?s make this the year when each of us
reaches our potential,  when each of us lives each day to the fullest, When we
realize the beauty of  every moment. when we appreciate the G-dly purpose
we have been privileged to  be a part of.

And while we?re at it, let?s ask our loved one?s  to send an email or put
in a phone call to the producer, Or maybe even pay Him  a visit. Tell Him,
please. We?re ready for Moshiach. We?ve done our job.  Enough with the
yiddishe tzoros, shoin tzeit, it?s time already. The Rebbe  told us to prepare
for Moshiach, that we?re this close to completing the task  for which we were
chosen. We?re ready for the time when ? lecho tichra kol  berech ? all
creations will bow to you, We?re ready for the final bow. We?re  ready for the
time when G-d will call this place His  home.

suffering in the world

There is a marvelous story of a man who once stood in front of G-d - his heart breaking from the pain and injustice in the world. "Dear G-d" he cried out, "Look at all the suffering the anguish and distress in the world why don't you send help??"  G-d responded "I did send help - I sent you!!"

"I don't own this ship!!" - Joke

 A cruise ship was sailing along in heavy waters when the Captain announced that they were in trouble, in fact there was an imminent danger and the boat may capsize and sink. The Captain asked for cooperation and teamwork from all parties aboard in order to save lives and get everybody on life boats. While everybody was scurrying around the deck one passenger sat in his deck chair and did nothing. When one of his friends asked him why isn't he helping out?? He replied quickly "I don't own this ship!!"

(Perhaps you can say. Ladies and Gentleman, we are all in this ship together!!)

"Lord, hit him again!!" - JOKE

In the East side of New York there was an old beautiful Synagogue with bleachers and a dome. It was mostly supported by a handful of very wealthy but elderly members of the congregation. Those gentlemen were honored to sit on the "Mizrach Vant" (Eastern wall). Right before Yom Kippur one of these main donors passed away.  The Rabbi and the Board of Directors decided that they would honor the son of this deceased man by giving him his father's honored seat and were hoping that he would continue the tradition of his father to be a major supporter of the Synagogue. Well the son took the seat, but never donated any funds for five years. The Rabbi got fed up and decided during the next Yom Kippur appeal he will try to convince the son. The Rabbi starts delivering a "fire & brimstone" drasha leading up to the appeal and he was banging on the podium, when suddenly from the dome fell a tile and chance would have it, it fell right on top of the son of the deceased. He stands up and yells out "Rabbi, I  will donate a quarter of a million dollars to fix the roof".  The Rabbi raised his hands to the heavens and yelled out "Lord, hit him again!!"    
(Perhaps you can say -Let us not wait to be hit on the head!) 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"I eat pork on Shabbat."

There is a rabbi in Israel, Yechezkel Sofer, who taught a Talmud class for
professors at Hebrew University. One particular professor, for years,
refused to come. One day the rabbi meets the professor and says to him,

"Why don't you join the class? Your colleagues come; it's in your building
right down the hall."

The professor responds, "Oh no, I don't belong in the class. We have nothing
in common."

The rabbi says, "What do you mean we have nothing in common?"

"You don't understand", says the professor, "I eat pork on Shabbat."

The rabbi says, "Only on Shabbat, not during the weekday?"

The professor says, "Specifically, spitefully on Shabbat!"

"Ah, in that case" says the rabbi, "You should come to the class.
 We do have something in common."

The professor asks, "What do you mean?"

The rabbi says, "I celebrate Shabbat and you celebrate Shabbat. I do it in a
traditional way. Your way is not so traditional."

After the conversation the Professor began attending the Talmud class.
He had re-discovered something about his Jewish identity.

This professor had survived the Holocaust as a young boy and saw Jewish life
in Europe destroyed. When he arrived in Israel, he threw his Judaism away.
He was angry with G-d and wanted to get back at Him. So he ate pork on
Shabbat. Why specifically on Shabbat? He wanted to punish G-d in the most
hurtful way. He figured that eating pork on Tuesday is one thing, but doing
it on Shabbat was really bad -because Shabbat is a holy day.

Upon reflection, the professor realized that his rebellious act showed that
he too believed in Torah and Judaism and that Shabbat was still a holy day
for him. That is why he ate pork on Shabbat. Not because Shabbat is an
ordinary day but because it's the holy day.

tonight is the first time my father heard me pray.

There is a story told of in the shtetl, there was a chazzan who every week
he would chant the melodies of the services, and always in tow was his old
father who would come and be there to watch his son act as the chazzan of
the shteeble.
It was one Yom Kippur before Kol Ndrei and the congregation was  all ready,
awaiting their Chazan to step up to the podium, but as the clock was ticking
the chazzan has not yet arrived. Suddenly the Chazzan comes dashing in the
door all apologetic, grabs his Tallis and kittel, and prayed the Kol Nidrei
in the most harmonious and pleasant ever sounding tone, that all stood in
After the services the Rabbi approached the Chazzan to ask what transpired,
and the reason of his lateness that led to such an outstanding performance.
The Chazzan explained, you know, my father was deaf, and yesterday my father
passed away, and tonight is the first time my father heard me pray.