Friday, April 6, 2012

Passover joke

Rabbi Jack receives a letter from the Royal Court that he going to be knighted. All his friends and relatives are so proud of him, but the rabbi is concerned. "How can I be a knight? A rabbi knight, who can conceive of such a thing? And besides, I'll have to go through the whole knighting ceremony. I'll probably do it all wrong. What do I do?"
His friends try to rest him assured. "It is really simple, you kneel before the Queen, she will announce you to be Sir Jack from now on and that's it. It's easy - don't worry. And you will continue to be the same old Jack."
That sort of calms the Rabbi down, but then he finds out that every knight has to choose a motto. Some line in Latin that he has to utter when the Queen knights him. This upsets him even more. "Latin! I do not know the simplest thing in Latin. Why must it be Latin? Couldn't it be Hebrew." In order to get rid of the whining his friends agree: "Yes, choose a line in Hebrew, that will be fine."
"Good," the rabbi acclaims, "I will think of something."

And so the evening comes round that together with a whole lot of other people, Rabbi Jack is going to be knighted. Each man kneels in front of the Queen, she announces their knighthood, they say their line in Latin and the affair is done.
Rabbi Jack is the last in line. He approaches the Queen and she proclaims: "Henceforth, you will be Sir Jack." And Jack says: "Ma Nishtana."
The Queen frowns, failing to recognize his motto, leans over to her adviser and whispers:

"Why is this knight different from others??"


Charles Lipson said...

We tell a version of this joke at our Seder every year, in memory of an elderly attendee, Rose, who told each year until she died. She never remembered that she had told it the year before. Now, it's our way of remembering her.

Unknown said...

wow, that is very touching. Lovely story

Anonymous said...

Sorry I don't get it - I don't understand Hebrew or maybe I'm just slow


Unknown said...

Yeah Jon,
I knew a lot of people wouldn't understand the joke. But you know, explaining a joke is ruining it.

Anyone who has ever been on a passover meal get it though. One of the central dialogos in the ritual starts with 'Ma Nishtana' and it deals with the question: 'Why is the this night different from others?'

With apologies


Anonymous said...

Thanks Anne - no need to apologise!


Anonymous said...

LOL, I actually speak Hebrew as my main language and I only got this joke after you explaining it.

It is aimed to those who go through passover in english...:P