Ask the rabbi

Q: Is one permitted to ride in an airplane on Shabbat?
A: Yes, as long as your seat belt remains fastened. Then it is considered as if you are wearing the plane.

Learning Hebrew

Remember Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” routine? Here’s a Jewish version featuring Fred and Elliot:

Fred: I see you’re here for your Hebrew lesson.
Elliot: I’m ready to learn.
F: Now, the first thing you must understand is that Hebrew and English have many words that sound alike, but they do not mean the same thing.
E: Sure, I understand.
F: Now, don’t be too quick to say that.
E: It’s simple — some words in Hebrew sound like words in English, but they don’t mean the same.
F: Precisely.
E: We have that word in English, too. What does it mean in Hebrew?
F: No, no. Precisely is an English word.
E: I didn’t come here to learn English, I came to learn Hebrew. So make with the Hebrew.
F: Fine. Let’s start with “mee. “
E: You.
F: No, “mee.”
E: Fine, we’ll start with you.
F: No, we’ll start with “mee. “
E: OK, have it your way.
F: Now, “mee” is who.
E: You is Fred.
F: No, no, no. “Mee” is who.
E: You is Fred.
F: You don’t understand.
E: I don’t understand? Did you just say me is who?
F: Yes I did. “Mee” is who.
E: You is Fred!
F: No, You misunderstand what I am saying. Tell me about “mee.”
E: Well, you’re a nice enough guy.
F: No, no. Tell me about “mee!”
E: Who?
F: Precisely.
E: Precisely what?
F: Precisely who.
E: It’s precisely whom!
F: All right. “Hu” is he.
E: Who is he?
F: Yes.
E: I don’t know. Who is he?
F: Sure you do. You just said it.
E: I just said what?
F: “Hu” is he.
E: Who is he?
F: Precisely.
E: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t care. I don’t care who is he, he is she, me is who, ma is what. I just want to go home now and play with my dog.
F: Fish.
E: Fish?
F: “Dag” is fish.
E: That’s all, I’m outta here.

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