Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Joke of the week: My Grandfather Was Not Jewish

Joke of the week: My Grandfather Was Not Jewish

By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

The offices of the Jewish Federation called a certain guy for a donation and he answered the phone in a thick British accent and an imperious tone, and he said "Madam, there must be a mistake. My name is Oliver Andrew Hamilton the Third and I'm not Jewish." And with that he hung up.

The next day, his card got put in the wrong pile and he was called again, and he said the same thing. "Young lady, there must be some mistake. My name is Oliver Andrew Hamilton the Third and I am not Jewish." 

The next day, his card got put in the wrong pile again, and this time he really blew up. "Madam, there must be some mistake," he said. "My name is Oliver Andrew Hamilton the Third, and I am not Jewish. And my father Oliver Andrew Hamilton the Second is also not Jewish, and my grandfather, Oliver Andrew Hamilton the First, alav hashalom, was not Jewish either."

One of the greatest tragedies in life is when you are ashamed of who you are and you feel that your value comes from mimicking someone else. This has been a great tragedy for our people collectively, and for many of us individually.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Did Our Parents Brainwash Us?

Did Our Parents Brainwash Us?

Growing up I asked myself these question numerous times, "Have my parents brainwashed me with their beliefs?" "What would my life look like had I grown up in a different home, in a different community?" 

Do we call all education of a certain set of values and ideals "brainwashing?" 

What is the alternative? 

Should we tell our children, "We will not give you direction. When you are an adult you will choose your lifestyle and your belief system?"

This teenager below is worth listening to. Take a look at this clip:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Joke of the week: You Want a Drink?

Joke of the week: You Want a Drink?
By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

A kind-hearted fellow was walking through Central Park in New York and was astonished to see an old man, fishing rod in hand, fishing over a beautiful bed of red roses.

"Tsk Tsk!" said the passer-by to himself. "What a sad sight. That poor old man is fishing over a bed of flowers. I'll see if I can help." So the kind fellow walked up to the old man and asked, "What are you doing, my friend?"

"Fishin', sir."

"Fishin', eh. Well how would you like to come have a drink with me?"

The old man stood, put his rod away and followed the kind stranger to the corner bar. He ordered a large glass of Beer and a fine cigar.

His host, the kind fellow, felt good about helping the old man, and he asked, "Tell me, old friend, how many did you catch today?"

The old fellow took a long drag on the cigar, blew a careful smoke ring and replied, "You are the sixth today, sir!"

This joke depicts how easy it is to be deceived by others.

So here’s some food for thought: If other people, with whom my defenses are up, can deceive me, how much more so am I capable of deceiving myself, in whose presence my defenses are down?

When you discover that you have been fooling yourself for so many years, it may not be that funny.

Joke of the week: In the Opposite Direction

Joke of the week: In the Opposite Direction
By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"

"My dear wife," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them! I am the only car, in fact, driving in the right direction."

In life, you sometimes need to muster the courage to go in the opposite direction than most people. Not always does driving in the opposite direction demonstrate that you are over the hill...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Joke of the Week: Cat and Mom

Joke of the Week: Cat and Mom

By: Rabbi YY Jacobson

A man named Phil had never taken even a day's vacation. He never married--all his life took care of his elderly mom and his beloved cat. Friends and family urged him to get away just to relax a bit. His biggest concern was who would look after the cat and who would ensure his mother was fine. Phil's brother stepped up to the task and Phil was happily off on a long vacation.

His first day out, Phil called his brother and immidiatly asked about the cat. The brother replied he was very sorry but the cat had died.

Phil was devastated. How did this happen? "I don’t understand", he cried. "The cat was healthy. I took care of it so well. I am gone one day and it's dead?"

His brother explained that the cat ran out to the street and it was struck by a car.

Phil was crushed. He wept profusely. When he finally composed himself, he told his brother that he really should think about how he presents bad news to people. Since he was going to be gone for several weeks, he told his brother, "you could have said something like, 'The cat is on the roof.' In a day or so you could add "We've had trouble getting the cat down from the roof."

Then a day later, you tell me, “the cat fell off the roof and died.” In that way I'd know that something was up and at least I'd be a bit prepared for the news.

The brother apologized and said he would work at being more considerate in the future.

So Phil then asked about their mother. "How is she?"

After a pause, Phil's brother said: "Uh, Mom's on the roof."

The moral of the story: Sometimes we are so cautious not to communicate directly, that in the end, we make things worse. Sure, always be considerate and sensitive; be gentle and respectful, but be direct with people. Communicate clearly, authentically and honestly. Exaggerated diplomacy is often a cover-up for insecurity.