Wednesday, January 16, 2008


One of the collateral delights of daily minyan are the informal exchanges and chats shared by participants at the end of prayers. This morning, a congregant took me aside and excitedly related the following joke. I laughed heartily and expressed my gratefulness for brightening my day with a little humor.
I thought: What a simple way by which to bring some joy to others? A funny story is a gift for which we can all be grateful. In this spirit, I share with you the joke.

The rabbi of a small town passed away. When the mourning period was over, the townspeople insisted that the 'rebbetzin'-the rabbi's widowed wife, remarry as soon as possible. For the rebbetzin to remain single was considered most improper. The only available man in town was the butcher.
After some protestation, the deceased rabbi's wife agreed to marry the butcher.
On Friday morning of the first week of marriage ,the new husband informed his wife that according to the teachings of his father, intimate relations were required that morning before work. The widow had no choice but to comply. That evening, prior to the Sabbath prayers, the butcher claimed that his sainted mother had taught him that cohabitation was a mitzvah- a religious duty, at the onset of the Sabbath. Before bed time , the rebbetzin's new husband indicated that his zeide, his grandfather, instructed him that love-making was required at that time. The next morning, before setting out to the synagogue, he turned to his bride and told her that his 'bobbe'-his grandmother emphasized the importance of carnal relations on Shabbes morning before shul.
The following week, the butcher's wife was met by a prominent townsperson.
"How is your new husband?" she asked.
The wife replied: "He's no scholar, but he comes from a wonderful family!!"

If you smile, be grateful. If you laugh, be even more grateful. If in the course of time you remember the humor of this story and it brings a smile back to your face or a sense of lightheartedness into a demanding day, consider this as a gift for which to be grateful.
When all is said and done, is not the capacity to smile and laugh a gift from the Source of all joy?

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