Friday, July 8, 2011

Oldie But a Goodie: the Ever-Present Convert Joke

I have a lot to write about on my soapbox day, but I'm going to wait and let the chain of events play out first. And to be quite honest, it has been a little difficult to keep the blog updated these last few weeks! I'm trying to maintain momentum to keep you all informed and entertained, but we'll see how it goes. Two and a half weeks until the 3 day exam madness.

So today, in a sure sign of laziness, I bring you an old joke. If you're going to convert, you have to know this joke. You're going to hear it 1,000 times. There are minor differences in the storyline, but the joke below is a fair representation. In fact, I've cobbled three different versions together.
         Moshe is talking to his friend Victor. "As you know, Victor, my daughter Rifka is getting married soon and because you’re not only my friend, but have also been my chavrusa (study partner) for nearly nine years, I would like to ask you to act as a witness under her chuppah. What do you say?"
         "I'm sorry, Moshe," replies Victor looking sad, "I know it’s an honor, but I can’t accept. I'm not Jewish."
         "What do you mean you’re not Jewish??" says Moshe. "You've been coming to shacharis every morning for over ten years and you've been my chavrusa for nearly as long. I don’t understand."
         "Well," says his friend, "I find shul to be very spiritually fulfilling, and the learning is the best intellectual stimulation around, to say nothing of this wonderful community. I've devoted my life to the mitzvot, but I've never actually got around to converting."
         "But hold on a minute, Victor," says Moshe. "Didn't we both learn in the Gemara, only a few weeks ago, that if you're not Jewish, you can't keep the Shabbes?"
         "Oh, don't worry," says his friend. "I don't keep Shabbat fully. You see, every Friday night, I put a key in my pocket so that I will carry on Shabbat."
         "So? Our community has an eruv."
         "Feh," says his friend. "I don't hold by that eruv!"
Har har har, right?


  1. I can't believe I have never heard that! very funny. and so very true lol

  2. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:"

    "Old Joke" is a relative term. It's not hot out of the oven anymore, but neither has it yet become a chestnut.

    We heard this about 7 years ago, and it had definitely not yet made the rounds.

    By the way, Elle, did you hear the story of the shtetl in days of yore that was expecting, we shouldn't know, a terrible pogrom. Everyone tried to make plans to hide, leave town, etc., but one talmid hacham decided that what would be, would be, and that the best protection he could provide himself, as well as the highest contribution he could make towards repairing the world, would be to stay at home, sit at his table, and keep on learning Torah.

    The night went on, Cossacks wreaking havoc everywhere, yet the Talmid learned on. Finally, a Cossack kicked down his door, unsheathed his sword, and in a raging fury, advanced towards the tzaddik.

    Realizing that his fate was cast, the Jew nevertheless determined to spend his last seconds on earth rising to the highest levels of holiness and devotion. The Cossack raised his sword above the defenseless Jew, who closed his eyes and loudly and clearly pronounced, "Blessed are You Hashem...who has commanded us concerning the mitzvah of Kiddush Hashem!"

    The astounded Cossack, suddenly filled with fear himself, dropped his sword and ran from the house.

    The Jew opened his eyes and raced after him, murmuring in tones of wordless urgency, "MMMMMM-MMMMMM! MMM-MMMM-MMMMMMM!"

    (Anyone who gets the joke can stay after class and clean the erasers.)

  3. What melacha do you do on Shabbos to fulfill this law?

  4. Anonymous, that's a can of worms :) I'll post about it at a later time.