The greater sin

Sean is waiting for a bus when another man joins him at the bus stop. After 20 minutes of waiting, Sean is hungry so he takes a sandwich from his lunch box and starts to eat. Noticing the other man watching, Sean asks, “Would you like one? My wife has made me plenty.”

“Thank you very much, but I must decline your kind offer,” says the other man. “I’m Rabbi Levy.”

“Nice to meet you, rabbi,” says Sean, “but my sandwiches are all right for you to eat. They only contain cheese. There’s no meat in them.”

“It’s very kind of you,” says Rabbi Levy, “but today we Jews are celebrating Passover. It would be a great sin to eat a sandwich because during the eight days of Passover we cannot eat bread. In fact it would be a great sin — comparable to the sin of adultery.”

“OK,” says Sean, “but it’s difficult for me to understand the significance of what you’ve just said.”

Many weeks later, Sean and Rabbi Levy meet again. Sean says, “Do you remember, rabbi, that we met recently and that I’d offered you a sandwich which you refused because you said eating bread on Passover would be as great a sin as that of adultery?”

Rabbi Levy replies, “Yes, I remember saying that.”

“Well, rabbi,” says Sean, “that day, I went over to my mistress’s apartment and told her what you said. We then tried out both the sins, but I must admit, we just couldn’t see the comparison.”

© david minkoff

The picture of health

Jeremy and Nathan meet in the post office. Nathan says, “Did you hear what happened to Hymie Himmelfarb?”

“You mean Hymie Himmelfarb with the smoker’s cough?” asks Jeremy.

“Yes, that’s the one,” Nathan replies.

“Hymie Himmelfarb with the gout and double hernia?” asks Jeremy.

“Yes, that’s him, Jeremy,” Nathan replies.

“Hymie Himmelfarb with the blotchy skin and who’s always fainting?” asks Jeremy.

“Yes, him, but all right with the questions already,” replies Nathan.

“No, I didn’t hear about Hymie Himmelfarb,” says Jeremy. “So what happened to Hymie?”

“He died yesterday,” replies Nathan.

“Oy vey! And he was such a healthy man,” says Jeremy.

© david minkoff