Jokes

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Making it kosher

A rabbi was walking home from a synagogue in San Francisco and saw one of his good friends, a pious and learned man who could usually beat the rabbi in religious arguments.

The rabbi started walking faster so that he could catch up to his friend, when he was horrified to see his friend go into a Chinese restaurant (not a kosher one).

Standing at the door, he observed his friend talking to a waiter and gesturing at a menu. A short time later, the waiter reappeared carrying a platter full of spare ribs, shrimp in lobster sauce, crab Rangoon and other treif that the rabbi could not bear to think about.

As his friend picked up the chopsticks and began to eat this food, the rabbi burst into the restaurant and reproached his friend, for he could take it no longer.

“Harry, what is this you are doing? I saw you come into this restaurant, order this filth and now you are eating it in violation of everything we are taught about the dietary laws and with an apparent enjoyment that does not befit your pious reputation!”

Harry replied, “Rabbi, did you see me enter this restaurant?”

The rabbi nods yes.

“Did you see me order this meal?”

Again he nods yes.

“Did you see the waiter bring me this food?”

Again he nods yes.

“And did you see me eat it?”

The rabbi nods yes.

“Then, rabbi, I don't see the problem here. The entire meal was done under rabbinical supervision!”

The pope and the Jew

Several centuries ago, the pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the pope won, the Jews would leave.

The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked an elderly aged man named Moishe to represent them. Rabbi Moishe's Latin wasn't very good — in fact, he knew very little — but he was a man of great faith and well respected in the Jewish community. The pope agreed. What could be easier than a silent debate?

The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The pope stood up and said, “I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay.”

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the pope asking him what happened. The pope said: “First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?”

Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. “What happened?” they asked.

“Well,” said Moishe, “First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.”

“And then?” asked a woman.

“I don't know,” said Moishe. “He took out his lunch and I took out mine.”