Friday, March 5, 2010

Some Light and Fluffy Jewish Folklore

I give to you, some hilarious little Folktales from "A Treasury of Jewish Folklore." Why? Because after that last post, I need something amusing.
Strictly Kosher
The teacher of Scripture in a little Polish town got sick and tired of his drudgery and of suffering cold and hunger. He decided to become a robber. 
One day, he took a knife from the kitchen and went into the woods. Hiding behind a tree he lay in ambush for passersby. At last he saw a rich lumber dealer of the town trudging along unsuspectingly. Without a word, he threw himself upon him and raised his knife as if to stab him. Suddenly, he seemed to recall something and let the knife drop to the ground. 
"It's your lucky," he muttered. " I just remembered that this is a milchig knife!"
This is particularly funny to me because Tuvia and I actually were discussing whether a knife becomes unkosher or whether it must be a fleishig knife if you use it to stab a human. Yes, we think these things. Moving on!
A poor Talmud student was making the rounds from one householder to another. each one, out of the goodness of his heart and as an act of piety, gave him food and lodging for several days. In one of these homes, however, he was treated with ill-grace and in a perfunctory manner. Three times daily they gave him only one dish to eat -- potatoes.
One day, when he saw the platter of potatoes being placed before hijm, he shuddered and asked his host, "Tell me please, what is the benediction that is said over potatoes?
"What a question to ask!" exclaimed his host. "You're a Talmud student, aren't you? Why, even the most ignorant man knows that you say: 'Blessed are the fruits of the earth,' over everything that comes out of the soil."
"This may be so," retorted the Talmud student, "but what should I say when the potatoes are coming out of my ears?"
Oh *giggle, giggle* and *snort, snort!* And lastly, I give you the plight of the Yeshiva Bochur made for a shidduch.
A remedy for ugliness
A Talmudic student was engaged to a very ugly girl; his father had forced the match on him. He therefore took the matter very much to heart and went to talk it over with the rabbi.
"Really, Rabbi," he complained, "she's so ugly she'll make me miserable if I marry her!"
"My son, use your head!" rebuked the rabbi, with impatience. "Now let's examine the problem at issue. All right -- she's ugly. Nu, so what? Just answer me: when you're in the House of Study all day -- will you look at her? No! When you come home for meals -- will you look at her while you eat? No! When you go to bed at night -- will you look at her in the dark? No! Furthermore, when you are asleep -- will you look at her? No! Finally, in your leisure time -- will you want to look at her? No! You'll go out for a walk. So I ask -- waht's all your excitement about? When will you look at her?"
Again, *giggle, giggle* and *snort, snort!* This simple folktale would solve the shidduch crisis, no? 

Shabbat Shalom!