Friday, October 10, 2008

"A Rabbi's Joke"

(I didn’t write this today, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, for fear of being struck down. By whom, I have no idea. That’s the odd thing about being an agnostic. You find yourself fearful of being punished by an entity you’re pretty certain doesn’t exist.)

I heard this joke from our rabbi when I was a kid, probably on Yom Kippur, since that was pretty much the only time we attended synagogue. If you already know this joke, feel free to tell it along with me. If you don’t know it, I’m happy to introduce it to you.

Perhaps my generosity will gain me a last minute access into the Book of Life, instead of the other book where you have to get your affairs in order.

(I’m sharing a joke, God. That’s worth something, isn’t it?)

I really like this joke. It’s grounded in a truth about character, which means there’s more to it than your average “knock-knock” joke. Though, don’t get me wrong. At the proper moment, a good “knock-knock” joke can really hit the spot.

Okay, here’s the joke.

A grandmother takes her young grandson to the beach. She settles herself in a comfortable spot, shading herself with under an umbrella while, nearby, the happy toddler plays in the sand. Suddenly, a huge wave rolls in. The wave scoops up the little child, and, as it pulls back from shore, it carries the boy out to sea.

The grandmother is horrified. She races to the water’s edge, scanning its surface for her missing grandson. But the child is nowhere in sight. The woman is beside herself. Her beautiful little grandchild, entrusted to her care, has disappeared. Distraught beyond imagining, she turns her eyes skyward, and says,

“Dear God. In all my years on this earth, I have never asked you for anything. I’m asking you now. Please, I’m begging you, return my grandson to me exactly as he was.”

As the woman’s prayer ends, another huge wave rolls in, and deposits the missing child onto the beach, on the exact spot from which he’d been taken.

Delirious with joy, the grandmother rushes over, smothering her precious grandson with hugs and kisses. She then turns her gaze skyward, and in a voice brimming with emotion, exclaims,

“He had a hat.”

5 comments:

diane said...

Rolling on the floor, laughing parts of me into oblivion.

45 is the new 30 said...

Shanah tova to you and your family, Earl, from a frequent reader who loves your blog. (And to The UBER Powers That Be: Please note that *I* didn't write this on Yom Kippur either!)

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