Poem; composed for the sake of arousing Divine compassion on His nation: Yisrael
Two R’shayim(c’neged Sefer B’reshit)
Two r’shayim sitting in g’henim
One says to the other: “Why are you here? “
The other responds: “I got caught stealing.”
“What did you steal?”
“Who did you steal him from?”
“But isn’t he also your father?”
“That’s just the point.
And what are you here for?”
“Oh, that’s a shame.”
“You’d better believe it.”
The Wise Man (c’neged Sefer Shmos)
We saw the enemies of our faith yesterday approach the edge of our camp.
This morning they were already in our midst.
They brought a large brazen-faced hog and left it in the middle of Rehov Meah Sh’arim!
Some very angry servants of the true G-d thought to stone it, and to stone those who brought it. But they had already turned and left. There was much confusion and upset. It was not a pretty scene.
Then, one clever fellow announced that he had a better solution. What did he do? He neatly folded up the pig and placed it carefully in an envelope. He sealed the envelope with cello-tape and took it to the post office. There he requested from the clerk the rate to send it back to Rome, or Athens, it wasn’t clear. He paid the rate and attached the postage to the envelope. He placed it in the post box.
That was the end of that problem.
Two Bachurim(c’neged Sefer Vayikra)
I saw two very faithful teenagers conversing together on the street in Har Nof.
One said to the other: “I asked my great father 3 times for my allowance.”
The other replied: “Did he give it to you?”
“Does he ever not give it to me?”
“Right. But then why did you have to ask?”
“He asked me to ask.”
“Right. My father also asked me to ask.”
“What did you do?”
“I haven’t asked yet.”
“Did you get your allowance anyway?”
“I got it.”
“Oh. Are you going to ask?”
“Why ask? I already got it.”
“I thought, maybe for the next time.”
“The truth is that I don’t really know how to ask.”
“That’s a problem.”
“Can you teach me?”
“You already know.”
Two Bachurot (c’neged Sefer Bamidbar)
There were two bachurot standing talking…
“Where were they standing?” my friend said to me.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“No. I just wanted to know if you actually saw it yourself,” he said.
“Well the truth is I saw it written.”
“—Uh huh. Where?”
“Look, it doesn’t matter! Do you trust me or not?”
“I don’t know exactly what to say.”
“Look, the clock is running. You want to hear what they said, or no?”
“They were talking about our conversation.”
“Oh no, wait that was a different story. Sorry. Now I got it straight.”
“Yeah. Two good girls.”
“From good families?”
“Both from good families. Very good families. Two very mature girls. Serious.”
“Yeah. So one said to the other: “I’m not sure how to proceed with this shidduch.”
“What do you mean,” the other retorted.
“Well, he’s a good student. He seems kind.”
“Does he want to learn or work?”
“Exactly. That’s the problem.”
“What? He doesn’t want to work?”
“I don’t see it.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t see him working.”
“He wants you to work?”
“We haven’t discussed it.”
“Which planet are you on? How do you plan to live?”
“He’s very spiritual. He says he has faith that Hashem will take care of us always.”
“So that’s it. I really think he’s sincere.”
“So what’s your question?”
“Well, I don’t know exactly.”
“Is he a Chassid?”
“I don’t know what he is.”
“Oh.You’re too weird for me. What happened to you? I thought you were a normal bachura. What in the world got into you? I don’t understand you at all. You were such a stable, solid, normal… what’s the matter with you?
“Veah! How can you just stand there silent like this? Don’t you know what I’m saying? Don’t you know what you’re answering? If I were still a little girl I would say I’m not going to be your friend anymore. Why don’t you answer me?”
“Who’s the one who’s a little bit funny, here?”
“Okay, I’m sorry. Please help me understand. You’re such a wonderful person, that’s all.
You’re my model of so much that I strive for in life. You know why I’m upset by your words.
Can’t you explain?”
“Sit down, my friend.”
They sit down.
“He says we must earnestly wait for Mashiach.”
“Nu. It’s a meforash Rambam!”
“He says that if we wait like we’re supposed to he’d already be here.”
“Oh… Okay! How did that answer anything? Does he learn?”
“He davens a lot.”
“He wants you to spend your life with him waiting for Mashiach and davening?!”
“He’s quite sincere.”
“You’re really the most! There’s no one like you! Really! You’re actually considering?…!”
“What do you think? This is some kind of comic strip?”
“You’re too much! Really!”
“And you? What are you looking for?”
“A normal life! Like everyone has, or wants to have.”
“You mean, to continue our morbid galus?”
“Oh! You’re something! You and Dovid HaMelech! Oh! I’m so frustrated! Oh!”
5 Two Lamdanim (c’neged Sefer D’varim (Mishnah Torah))
Scene: the Bais Medrash. Two young men. Learning. Baba Metzia.
Says Paloni: forgive me; I want to ask a question outside for a second.
Almoni just looks at him.
Starts again Paloni: “are you with me? I just had a very interesting thought.”
“Outside the Gemara?”
Paloni now does the staring. “Listen. Zuzim. Zuzim! Zuzim! They move, right? That’s the peshat. They move.”
“Brilliant,” answers Almoni sarcastically.
“Listen,” continues Paloni, not the least disturbed. “The whole world is in economic crisis. Catastrophe.”
“Yeah. So. What’s new?”
“Listen. Everyone is afraid to spend a cent. ‘Money is tight’, everyone says. Everyone grasps what they have tighter.”
“Everyone gets a little smarter. Doesn’t let everything fall between their fingers. Make a cheshbon. Like they’re supposed to.”
“Maybe. But maybe…Zuzim. Money has to move. If it doesn’t move it’s not money!
“Nice peshat. But…”
“I’m serious. In order for there to be economic health the money has to flow, from hand to hand. That’s what money is—zuzim. If everyone just holds on tight, it just disintegrates, more and more. Tight fist. Tight heart. No sense. No cents. Withered nerves. Tension. Contraction. Constriction. Heart disease. Hospital bills. Funeral expenses, less money, more tightness. A vicious circle.”
“You’re right. I mean, it’s mestaber what you’re saying.”
“Zuzim. Damim! It has to flow! If the dam doesn’t move, one dies.”
“Yeah, but it has to stay inside the guf. Not to be spilled out everywhere.”
“Yisrael is one guf.”
“Okay. Fine. Niflah. So what?”
“So people have to start moving their money around. From hand to hand. Yad l’yad. Yid l’yid.”
“Brilliant. Enough bitul Torah. Let’s learn.”
“Of course, you’re right. But this is also Torah. l’ma’aseh.”
“It’s not at all l’ma’aseh. Do something about it.”
“I would, but I have no money. Look, G-d gave me the brilliant idea. He gave you the money. Go ahead, and jump like Nachshon ben Aminadav. That’s what’s needed. Get the ball rolling.”
“AMAR ABAYE !!…”
In another room of the same Bais Medrash: (The Giver of Charity)
“Tz’dkah. Tzche l’mitzvos, Yeshar koach.”
“Yeshar koach, tzche l’mitzvos.”
“Amar Rava.” Amar Rava. Should I look at him? I’m osek b’Torah. Osek b’mitzvah putermin hamitzvah. Rav Yoseph. Shomer S’car. I can’t concentrate. Stupid conscience. Here. I’ll give him, but only half-a-shekel. “Tzche lk’mitzvas. Shefa bracha v’hatzlachah.”
“Tzche l’ha’asot. Hatzlachah raba.”
Amar Raba. Money. That’s the 4th time in the last hour. And yesterday. And the day before.
Ribono Shel Olam. What’s the right attitude? I can’t go on like this. Why are there so many aniyim? I myself am barely making it. Hah! Barely? I’m not making it. What am I supposed to do? Ribono Shel Olam! Look at me. I’m not so good at this business of living. I forget my learning. I…
…I’m frozen inside. I don’t have more to give. Maybe he’s not worthy… Oh, he’s got a hamlatzah. Maybe…Okay. You win, Hashem. I’m Your servant. I’ll stop complaining about how hard the work is. I just fell into my low self again.
“Yeshar Koach. Tzche l’mitzvos v’shefa bracha.”
“Amen! V’cain l’mar!”