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Helping a brother in need

Bridge over troubled watersSo I’m driving by Spuyten Duyvil Station on my way into Manhattan and I see a guy on top of the bridge over the Hudson Parkway.  I pull over and yell out “Hey what are you doing up there?”

He says “Life is not worth living.”

So I yell back “That’s not true.  Sure we all have problems, let’s talk about it.”

He says “How would you know what my life is like?”

I ask — “Do you believe in God?”


I say: “Great,  I do too.  Are you Jewish or Christian?”


“Hey!  Me too.  I’m sure we’ll have a lot in common.  We should talk.  Are you Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform?”

He says “I’m Orthodox”

“Hey! Me too!  Are you Yeshivish Orthodox or Modern Orthodox?”

He says “Modern Orthodox.”

I yell back “Me too.  Hey, I bet you live in Riverdale, right?”


I yell “Wait a sec, do you go to RJC? (Riverdale Jewish Center)”

He responds “No, I go to HIR (Hebrew Institute of Riverdale)”

“HIR — that’s Rabbi Weiss’ shul — the liberal, radical, with the low mechitza, women’s rights and all the hugging!  You call that Orthodox!  Die you heretic scum.”  I got back in my car and B”H I made it in time for my midtown meeting.

I don’t know what happened to the guy.

[Tip of the kippa to Emo Phillips]

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Ansy July 20, 2011, 1:38 PM

    You live in Riverdale? now I’m all curious to know who you are. There is no way I don’t know you, which makes me all the more curious

    • Telz Angel July 20, 2011, 2:30 PM

      I live on the internet and in the hearts and minds of frum-satirists.

      But if if makes you feel more uncomfortable, I’m not very tall, not very skinny, wear glasses, have medium dark hair and probably stare at you during davenning.

      Oh, that’s not helpful now, is it.

      • Ansy July 20, 2011, 2:53 PM

        RJC, HIR, or YI?

        • Telz Angel July 20, 2011, 3:13 PM

          Left side or right side? do you sit with the doctors or those business guys who are always talking during the leining? are you the guy who always uses the koren or the artscroll, with the translation or just the hebrew only edition?
          blah blah, kablahblah,
          Die, you heretic scum.

          You see, that would have made the joke too long.
          I guess I must go to R.H.Y. But since I live on the internet, add a .com to it.

  • RebTirza July 20, 2011, 1:49 PM

    That little story says it all.

    • Telz Angel July 20, 2011, 2:46 PM

      My inspiration, in case you were wondering, was an email spat last week over Lieby Kletzy. Someone sent a nice email to an email list about how it is important for us to have achdus, especially now. It was a long, gushy, and heartfelt email. The person added, that we should say a prayer when lighting candles this shabbos, say some extra tehilim, and get our mezuzos checked. Explaining that mezuzos protect us, the tehilim will save the community, and the candles will be like a collective neshama.

      Someone responded — picking up on the mystical part of the email and argued that we have mezuzzos because the Torah said so, not because they are magical amulets that protect us. etc.

      Then someone else wrote back in defense — saying that chazal do say that mezuzos protect. etc.

      You can imagine how silly this all was. These people actually thought that 1. their emails would convince others that they should change their thinking about mysticism and 2. that this fight was a great way to have achdus, in memory of Leiby.

      Hence the motivation for this little story above. Sad ‘cuz it’s true.

  • yedid Nefesh July 20, 2011, 11:10 PM

    I think your little story has a very powerful message on it’s own.

  • Catholic Mom July 21, 2011, 4:59 PM

    So this guy is on an airplane flying to California and the pilot comes on and says their engines have gone out and they’re going down.

    The guy begins to pray. “St. Francis — my patron saint — you know how bad my life has been going. My wife ran off with the electrician, my son dropped out of college to study with the gurus in India, my daughter took up with a motorcycle gang, I lost my job and my house was foreclosed. Even my dog died. Not once did I complain or pray for my own needs. Now I finally got a nibble on a job possibility, they’re flying me out to CA for an interview and the FREAKIN’ PLANE IS GOING DOWN??? St. Francis…if you have any compassion for me at all–HELP ME!!!!”

    Suddenly a huge hand comes out of the sky and holds up the plane. A huge booming voice comes from the heavens:

    “Assisi or Loyola??”

    “Assisi of course.”

    WHOMP — the hand drops the plane.

  • Catholic Mom July 21, 2011, 5:20 PM

    D$%^! I screwed up the joke! That’s what happens when you type faster than you think. It should be:

    “Assisi or Xavier”

    “Assisi of course”

    (Francis Xavier having been Ignatious Loyola’s disciple, I made a mental typo.)

    Still…not as bad as my husband who once started a joke about a guy on a golf course in Ireland with a punchline that reveals that the guy is a priest. My husband started the joke by saying “so there was this Irish priest.” Israelis should not be allowed to tell Irish jokes.

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