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A biblical sign

A businessman was in a great deal of trouble. He had put everything he had into his business, which was now failing. It was so bad, he was even contemplating suicide. As a last resort he went to his rabbi and poured out his story of woe.

When he had finished, the rabbi said, “Here’s what I want you to do: Put a beach chair and a Bible in your car and drive down to the beach. Take the beach chair and the Bible to the water’s edge, sit down in the beach chair, and put the Bible in your lap. Open the Bible — the wind will rifle the pages, but finally the open Bible will come to rest on a page. Look down at the page and read the first thing you see. That will be your answer, that will tell you what to do.”

A year later the businessman went back to the rabbi and brought his wife and children with him. The man was in a new custom-tailored suit, his wife in a mink coat, the children shining. The businessman pulled an envelope stuffed with money out of his pocket, gave it to the rabbi as a donation in thanks for his advice.

The rabbi recognized the benefactor, and was curious. “You did as I suggested?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied the businessman.

“You went to the beach?”


“You sat in a beach chair with the Bible in your lap?”


“You let the pages rifle until they stopped?”


“And what were the first words you saw?”

“Chapter 11.”

A big mistake

On a flight from Atlanta, a well-attired, middle-aged woman found herself sitting next to a man wearing a kippah. She called the attendant over to complain about her seating.

“What seems to be the problem, Madam?” asked the attendant.

“You’ve sat me next to a Jew! I can’t possibly sit next to this strange man!” the woman shouted. “Please find me another seat!”

“Ma’am, I will see what I can do to accommodate you,” the attendant replied, “but the flight is virtually full today and I don’t know if there is another seat available.” The woman shot a nasty look at the Jewish man next to her.

A few minutes later the attendant returned and said, “Ma’am, the economy and business sections are full; however, we do have one seat in first class.”

Before the lady had a chance to respond, the attendant continued, “It is only on exceptions that we make this kind of upgrade, and I had to ask permission from the captain. But, given the circumstances, the captain felt that no one should be forced to sit next to an unpleasant person.”

The flight attendant turned to the Jewish man sitting next to her, and said, “So if you’d like to get your things, sir, I have a comfortable seat for you in first class.”

The woman said indignantly, “The captain must have made a mistake.”

To which the attendant replied, “No, ma’am. Captain Cohen never makes mistakes.”