A rabbi and a cantor are standing in the largely empty synagogue one day, talking mystically about how, given the awesome glory of God’s Infinite Divine Presence, they are each really “nothing.” “Yes,” says the rabbi, “I am nothing!” The cantor also affirms, looking up to the heavens, “O God, I am completely nothing!” And they go on like this for several rounds—”I am nothing… I am utterly nothing.”
Meanwhile, the synagogue’s janitor is off in the corner on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floor. Filled with piety and a fervent spirit, he has all the while been repeating in a gentle voice, “O Lord, You are everything and I am nothing… I am nothing.” The rabbi and cantor at one point listen in and, after a few moments, come to realize what he is saying. At this, the rabbi nudges the cantor and smugly says, “Look who thinks he’s nothing!”
[An old favorite, written by James M. Kauffman, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia. This was originally addressed to conservative radio talk host Dr. Laura Schlesinger, who said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she found that, according to Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality is an abomination and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. This piece in recent years went around the Internet, readdressed to President George W. Bush. We use this latter version, with one addition from myself (#10).]
Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said: “in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man and a woman.” I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness--Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women for some reason take offense at this.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord--Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there “degrees” of abomination?
7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
8. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton-polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
[And one more, newly submitted:] 10. Very shortly after my recent marriage, I learned from Deuteronomy 22:13-21 that "a marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed." Now, as a recent widower, my question is... do I get to keep her dowry and the wedding presents?
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
RANDOM QUIPS (from various unknown sources)
As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.
I’ve taken a vow of poverty. To test me, please send money.
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
I don’t have a problem with willpower. It’s won’t power I have a problem with.
My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.
Life is sexually transmitted.
I used to be indecisive; now I’m not sure.
My reality check just bounced.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
No sense being pessimistic. It wouldn’t work anyway.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!
I can resist anything but temptation
God must love stupid people, he made so many.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
What do they call Church pastors in Germany? German Shepherds.
Butch Hancock remembers: "Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
SO I MARRIED AN ATHEIST
A young lady came home from a date, rather sad. She explained to her mother, “Anthony proposed to me an hour ago.” “Then why are you so sad?” her mother asked. “Because he also told me he is an atheist. Mom, he doesn't even believe there's a Hell!”
Her mother replied, “Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we'll show him how wrong he is.”
MOTHER AND FATHER
An elderly man in Miami calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough."
"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her." and he hangs up.
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this."
She calls her father immediately and yells, "You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?" And she hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "They're both coming for Passover and paying their own airfares."
Four Jewish mothers are sitting together playing bridge. The first one lets out a long sigh and heartfelt “Oy!” A few minutes later, the second bubbe also sighs deeply and says “Oy vey!” A few minutes after that, the third lady brushes away a tear and moans, “Oy veyizmir!” To which the fourth Jewish mother says: “I thought we agreed we weren’t going to talk about our children!”
A story is told of a Jewish man who was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper. A friend of his, riding in the same subway car, noticed this bizarre phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader. "Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?" Moshe replied, "I used to read the Jewish newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty. So I switched over to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news here is so much better!"
The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse: You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” and “Thou Shalt Not Lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment!
An old man walks into a confessional. The following conversation ensues:
Old Man: I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Yesterday I picked up two college girls hitchhiking. We went to a motel where I had sex with each of them three times.
Priest: Are you sorry for your sins?
Old Man: What sins?
Priest: What kind of a Catholic are you?
Old Man: I’m Jewish.
Priest: Why are you telling me all this?
Old Man: I’m telling everybody!!
A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one very hot day. They were perspiring and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water. Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their “natural freedom.” As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.
After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest both asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, “I don’t know about you, but in MY congregation, it’s my face they would recognize.”
A Jewish man goes into the synagogue and prays. "O Lord, you know the mess I'm in, please let me win the lottery."
The next week, he's back again, and this time he's complaining. "O Lord, didn't you hear my prayer last week? I'll lose everything I hold dear unless I win the lottery."
The third week, he comes back to the synagogue, and this time he's desperate. "O Lord, this is the third time I've prayed to you to let me win the lottery! I ask and I plead and still you don't help me!"
Suddenly a booming voice sounds from heaven. "Benny, Benny, be reasonable. Meet me half way. Buy a lottery ticket!"
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant."
I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!"
I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.