A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar ….

A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar….Naw.

But this column is about humor.

Biblical humor.

It is not an Open Mike Night but here goes:

-Abraham is ordered to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Together with two “young men” they travel to the place of the offering. On the third day, Abraham and Isaac see it, but the attendants do not. Abraham tells them “Stay here by yourselves with the donkey, while I and the lad will go yonder..”.  He is comparing them to the donkey.

-Moses is accused of self-enrichment and says “I have not taken even a single donkey of theirs, ….”   Moses just brought the greatest power in the ancient world to its knees and he’s talking about a donkey!

-Balak is the king and Balaam is the gentile prophet. Balak wants Balaam to curse the Jews. Balaam says that he can’t  He says he will consult with Hashem. Hashem says “No.” Balak ups the ante and pressures Balaam. Balaam asks Hashem again. Hashem tells him to go but only say what he tells him to say. When Balaam begins to speak, he utters blessings. Balak is so intent on getting Balaam to curse the Jews, he moves him from place to place to try again. He builds seven altars at three different locations, sacrifices seven bulls at each set of altars. Nothing doing. It is like the famous Verizon commercial in which the character moves around and  demands “Can you hear me now?”  There is a donkey in this story, too. Balaam’s donkey refuses to move because he sees something in the road that Balaam can’t see, i.e., an angel with a sword.  Balaam beats him and then Hashem lets Balaam see the angel. The donkey complains (like Moses!) “Am I not your she-donkey that you have ridden all your life until this day? Have I been accustomed to do such a thing to you?”

My favorite story is one of female intuition and empowerment (and no donkey).

-On, son of Peleth, wants to join the Korach rebellion. His wife tells him. “What have you to gain from this folly? Even if Korah wins he will be Kohen Gadol and you will be as subservient to him as you are now to Moses and Aaron.” (Sarcasm!) On doesn’t go.

The tale of Mrs. On was the forerunner of the first “Take my, wife. Please”  joke.

Comedian Henny Youngman made a career out of it.

Which reminds me of a joke.

A Jew is knocked down by a car.

Someone runs over and asks “How are you doing?”

“I make a living,” he says.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her books,, FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, THE CHINESE JEW. THE TRUST and PALMBEACHTOWN are available on Amazon and Kindle.

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