Askmoses-A Jews Resource
When do the rules pertaining to the Three Weeks start?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

Moses Returns

by Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau

  

Library » Philosophy » Religion | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

There once was a public debate in Ottawa, Canada between the Israeli ambassador to Canada, the late Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Herzog, and the famous historian Professor Arnold Toynbee. Dr. Toynbee insisted that Israel is not truly a nation, and does not deserve a state. The Jews, he claimed, are a religious sect with a mission to guide mankind in monotheism, morals and ethics in the Diaspora, but are not a nation. Permit me to use an imaginary voyage to develop a point made by Dr. Herzog.

An Olympic aircraft lands at Athens airport, and a customs official asks an elderly passenger the purpose of his visit.

“I’m Socrates, and I’ve come back to see my hometown.” The excited official tries to converse with him; they both speak Greek but have no common language, so they call a translator.

Socrates asks, “Can I see the Acropolis?”

“Sorry, it’s in ruins.”

“The Temple of Zeus?”

“There’s no Temple of Zeus here. We have a Greek Orthodox Church, but it’s Christian. We have no Neptune, no Mars, no Aphrodite, no Helen. Only Christianity.”

There's no Temple of Zeus here. We have a Greek Orthodox Church, but it's Christian. We have no Neptune, no Mars, no Aphrodite, no Helen. Only Christianity
“How many countries are under Greece?”

“None. Greece is a small country in NATO.”

“What do we excel in? The Marathon? The Olympics? Philosophy?”

“Sorry, Sir, none of the above. The only thing we have in common with the Greece of Aristotle or Plato is geography.”

An Alitalia flight stops at the Fiumicino airport near Rome, and an old fellow deplanes. A customs official approaches him.

“Your name, please?”

“Julius Caesar. Veni, vidi vici.”

“May I help you?”

Caesar doesn’t understand the question. Latin and today’s Italian are not the same.

“Will you please take me to the Temple of Jupiter?”

“Who is Jupiter? We have the Vatican here.”

“What is a Vatican?”

“It’s a church. Catholic. This Pope‘s from Germany. His predecessor was from Poland. Not Italian. No Jupiter.”

“What’s on in the Colosseum today?”

Same religion. Same language. Same homeland. Same commandments. Same faith. If this is not a nation, what is?
“Sorry, it’s in ruins.”

“Gallia still belongs to Roma?”

“No. France is Chirac. Rome is Parodi. Yesterday Berlusconi.”

“What countries do we control? Abyssinia? Angola?”

“None. Italy is a NATO state.

“What are we number one in?”

“Car production, maybe.”

“Car?”

“Cars are robotic chariots without horses.” 

At Ben Gurion airport, a customs officer welcomes an elderly man with a white beard: “Shalom Aleichem!”

The man answers, “Aleichem Shalom. My name is Moshe.”

“Really? I’m also Moshe! I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia.”

“And I was born in Egypt.”

“Did you visit Israel before?”

“Unfortunately never.”

“So it’s not your homeland.”

“This is my homeland. I personally know of the Divine promise. Are you Jewish?”

“Of course I’m Jewish. Ani Mosheke m’Gruzia.”

“I’d like to sightsee, but I didn’t take along Tefillin. Do you perhaps know where I can get tefillin?”

“Tefillin? I’ll give you mine.”

“You have tefillin?”

“Of course I have tefillin. I davened Shacharis an hour ago.”

“You also have a tallis with tzitzis?”

“Of course!”

“Do you have a quiet place for me to pray?”

“Sure! We have shuls here in the terminal. Sefard and Ashkenaz.”

“And what Nusach is your Torah scroll?”

“Nusach???!!! We all have the same Torah, each word carefully transcribed back to Moshe Rabenu!”

Same religion. Same language. Same homeland. Same commandments. Same faith. If this is not a nation, what is?

Republished with permission from Jewish-Holiday.com


ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

RELATED CATEGORIES

Israel » Holy Land

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Tefillin
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
Nusach
The format of the prayers.