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Parasha Insights



A Jewish man in a hospital tells the doctor he wants to be transferred to a different hospital.

The doctor asks, "What's wrong? Is it the food?"

"No, the food is fine. I can't kvetch (complain)."

"Is it the room?"

"No, the room is fine. I can't kvetch."

"Is it the staff?"

"No, everyone on the staff is fine. I can't kvetch."

"Then why do you want to be transferred?"

"Over there I can kvetch!"

The weekly portion this Shabbat, Parshat Bereishit, is the beginning of the entire Torah. The opening verse, Genesis 1:1, reads: In the beginning, Elokim (G-d) created the heavens and the earth.

At first, only the name Elokim is used, but… Read More »


On a terribly cold and relentlessly snowy morning in Moscow, Soviet citizens lined up five blocks long to await a shipment of meat from Odessa. After an hour, a loudspeaker announced that the shipment was smaller than expected, so all Jews were asked to leave the line. An hour later, there was an announcement that the meat shipment had been further curtailed, so anyone who was not a member of the Communist party must leave the line. Two hours later, there was a further announcement that a large quantity of the meat in the shipment was spoiled, so everyone except members of the Politburo was asked to leave the line. Three hours later, the snow falling continuously all this time, there was an announcement that the meat shipment… Read More »



The CEO of a Fortune 500 company told his speechwriter, “Next week, I’m making the key presentation at our biggest meeting of the year. It’s a crucial time for our company, and I need to address the themes, vision, and ideals of this firm. I need a killer speech from you. It needs to be dynamite!”

“No problem,” said the speech writer.

After the meeting, the CEO called his writer in a fury. “You’re fired!” he yelled.

“What?” he asked, shocked. “Why? I wrote a great speech!”

“Are you out of your mind? I specifically asked for a 20-minute speech, and it took me an hour to get through it. I lost the entire crowd before I was halfway… Read More »



Yankel, a poor shtetl Jew who had fallen on hard times, heard that the local church was offering 50 rubles to any convert to Christianity. Sensing a business opportunity, he asked the priest about the terms and conditions.

“Well," said the priest, “once you accept the holy water, you will become a Christian. After that, there isn’t much. You go to church now and then and give some donations."

“That’s it?” Yankel asked. “Well, that, and Lent has just started. You may not eat meat on Friday's, but fish is fine.”

Yankel considered what he heard for a moment, and agreed. The priest sprinkled him from his vial of holy water and solemnly intoned, “You were born a… Read More »

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