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Parasha Insights


A man takes a seat at a bar, and orders five shots. The bartender gives him an odd look since he’s alone, but he serves him and lines up the shots on the bar.

The man downs them all quickly. He finishes the last one and calls out, "Four shots, please!" The bartender serves four shots and lines them up on the bar. The man downs them all. Then he belches loudly, sways slightly on the stool, and orders three. And one after the other, he knocks them back. "Two shots!" he calls, and the bartender places two shots in front of him. Down they go. As the man slams the last one down on the bar, he says, "One shot, bartender."

So the bartender fills the glass. The man sits there, staring at it for a moment… Read More »


An Amish boy and his father visited a mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again. The boy asked his father, "What is this, Father?" The father responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is."

While the boy and his father watched wide-eyed, an old woman in a wheelchair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of lights with numbers above the walls light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls… Read More »


TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America?
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have 10 years ago.

TEACHER: Glenn, why do you always get so dirty?
GLENN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mum is a good cook.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps… Read More »


Izzy owned a small deli in Stamford Hill, London. One day, a tax inspector knocked on his door and questioned him about his recent tax return. Izzy had reported a net profit of $250,000 for the year and he wanted more information. Izzy explained, "I work like a maniac all year round, and my family helps whenever they can. My deli is closed only five days a year. That’s how I made $250,000."

"It's not your income that bothers us," said the taxman. "It's the business travel deductions of $80,000 that worries us. You entered on the tax return that you and your wife made 28 business trips to Israel, Italy, Switzerland, France, the USA, Hawaii, and the Caribbean Islands. Why all those trips?"

Read More »


A man walking in the city was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking derelict who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted $2, and asked, "If I give you this money, will you take it and buy whiskey?"

"No, I stopped drinking years ago," the man said.

"Will you use it to gamble?"

"I don't gamble. I need everything I can get just to stay alive."

"Will you spend the money on greens fees at a golf course?"

"Are you NUTS! I haven't played golf in 20 years!"

“Will you use the money to buy cigarettes?”

“No way. $2 can’t get me a pack of cigarettes. I had to quit smoking years ago when the price of… Read More »


Rabbi Lau once shared his memories when the Americans have arrived and Buchenwald was liberated.

 "I remember the looks of horror on the faces of the American soldiers when they came in and stared around them. 

I was afraid when I saw them. I crept behind a pile of dead bodies and hid there, watching them warily.

"Rabbi Herschel Schachter was the Jewish chaplain of the division. I saw him get out of a jeep and stand there, staring at the corpses.

 He has often told this story, how he thought he saw a pair of living eyes looking out from among the dead. It made his hair stand on end, 

but slowly and cautiously he made his way around the pile, and then, he clearly remembers coming face-to-face with me, an… Read More »


I recently read this piece entitled “A Grandparents Answering Machine.”

This is how it works.

Good morning . . . At present we are not at home but, please leave your message after you hear the beep. Beeeppp...

1. If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of "arrival" so we know who it is.

2. If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.

3. If you want to borrow the car, press 3.

4. If you want us to wash your clothes and do the ironing, press 4.

5. If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.

6. If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.

7. If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press… Read More »


In 1995, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Jonathan Sacks, flew with then-Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair to attend the funeral of Yitzchak Rabin. On the way, Blair read The Daily Mirror. When he finished, he looked up, noticed the Rabbi engrossed in a book, and asked, “What are you reading?”

“Why, the weekly Parsha, the weekly Torah portion,” Sacks replied.

“Tell me what it says,” Blair said, and for the next few hours they talked Parsha. Blair loved it. For years to come, every time Rabbi Sacks visited 10 Downing Street, Tony Blair would begin the conversation by asking, “Nu, what’s going on in this week’s Torah portion?”

At a public dinner… Read More »


Two elderly ladies had been friends since their 30s. Now in their 90s, they still got together a couple of times a week to play cards. One day they were playing gin rummy and one of them said, "You know, we’ve been friends for many years and, please don't get mad, but for the life of me, I can't remember your name. Please tell me what it is."

Her friend glared at her. She continued to glare and stare at her for at least three minutes. Finally, she said, "How soon do you need to know?"

As we begin this Passover season, I’d like you to consider this simple question. Every day we are bombarded by millions of pieces of information, all clamoring for our attention. So why do we remember some things and forget… Read More »


I always talk to myself; it is the only way to ensure intelligent conversation.—A man

There is something intriguing you will notice in any Torah scroll—and Chumash—in the opening word of the third book of the Torah, Vayikra, Leviticus.

The opening words of the book are: “Vayikra El Moshe,” "He called to Moses." The Aleph of the word for, "He called/Vayikra,” the first word in the Book of Leviticus, is written smaller than usual. The Aleph is written in miniature.

This is how it has been since the first Torah Scroll written by Moses 3300 years ago. But why? What is the significance of this?

Contrast this with one more place in the Tanach where the Aleph is written in a large… Read More »


Things Mom Would Never Say:

“I skipped school a lot, too.”

“Leave all the lights on... it makes the house look cheerier.”

“Let me smell that shirt—yeah, it's good for another week.” “I don't have tissues... just use your sleeve.”

“Don't bother with a coat; the wind-chill has got to improve.”

Things Dad Would Never Say:

“Well, how 'bout that? I'm lost! Looks like we'll have to stop and ask for directions.”

“Here are a credit card and my new-car keys: GO CRAZY!”

“Mom and I are going away for the weekend... you might want to consider throwing a party.”

“Why do you want to get a job? I make plenty of money for you to… Read More »

World's Worst Skier

An Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian were discussing happiness. "Happiness," said the Englishman, "Is when you return home tired after work and find your slippers warming by the fire."  "You English have no romance," said the Frenchman. "Happiness is having dinner with your beautiful wife at a fine restaurant."

 "You are both wrong," said the Russian. "True happiness is when you are at home in bed and at 4 am you hear a loud banging at the door and there stand two KGB police agents, who say to you, 'Ivan Ivanovitch, you are under arrest,' and you say, 'Sorry, Ivan Ivanovitch lives next door.'"

In this weeks portion, Ki Tisa speaks about one of our… Read More »

Regards From Jerusalem

I write to you this week as I sit in the Old City of Jerusalem. Just a few minutes ago, I met with some of “our kids” from Great Neck who have taken a year after high school to study in our country. What innocence, what exuberance, what a positive passion and excitement they have for the land of Israel, Torat Yisrael, and Am Yisrael. My meeting with them brought me to a new height of happiness for I saw before me that our future is strong - our children have the right values and will not settle for anything less than the real truth.

I can’t help but compare this with an earlier scene this morning. After praying at the Western Wall, I noticed in the back square a commotion of sorts. A group of young Israelis are… Read More »


"We are worth what we are willing to share with others."

Recently, the world's second wealthiest man, Warren Buffet, announced he will donate the bulk of his 42-billion-dollar fortune to charity. Buffet's oldest daughter, Susie, immediately changed her name to Charity…

In an effort to better understand his Jewish constituents, a mayor contacted a popular rabbi.

The rabbi invited the mayor to spend Shabbat at his home, and the mayor accepted.

On Friday night, the rabbi made Kiddush on a full cup of wine. Then he made a l’chaim (a toast to life) after the fish on some fine Scotch. The main course was accompanied by an Israeli wine. They said grace after the meal with another cup of… Read More »


In the 1970's, a Russian school inspector was questioning students. He pointed to a boy and asked, "Who is your father?"

The boy replied, "The Soviet Union."

He then asked, "Who is your mother?"

"The Communist Party," came the reply.

"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A worker for the glory of the state and the party."

The inspector then pointed to a girl and asked, "Who is your father?"

The girl answered, "The Soviet Union."

"Who is your mother?"

"The Communist Party."

"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A heroine of the Soviet Union raising lots of children for the state and… Read More »

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