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The Shnurer is the bedrock of the Jewish community. The beggar who has a right to your money. The Shnurer is there to remind you that you must give Tzedakah.
Tzedakah means charity. You probably don't know that. The one Hebrew word you don't know. Yet, the Shnurer reminds you. At shul, at your office, at your home, they are there to remind you. They will find you. And they will find a way to get your money. In the middle of Davening, they will find a way to get your money. While you're deep in meditation, they will find a way. They will stand right there, shaking handful of change and a credit card machine.
It may be offsetting to see these people begging, who definitely have more money than you. Yet, it is our obligation to give them money. It's their living.
Enough about the Shnurer. Here are a couple of Shnurer jokes we stole, to talk more about the Shnurer.
The Guys Working Together
You put an American in the mix. Americans don't understand Chutzpah. You throw them into Israel or any society where people interact, and you have a joke.
My father A"H used to tell this joke. He told it better than me. Maybe you can punctuate it better the punchline I can.
The Joke: An American is walking in the Old City of Jerusalem and one guy asks him very nicely for some Tzedakah. He gives him a bit.
As the American keeps walking, another guy starts to hound him for money. He starts yelling at him, 'You heretic. Walking in your new sneakers. Probably not willing to give any charity. You should be ashamed of yourself. Only giving pettiness... You call that, what you gave, Tzedakah. Shame on you!!!' The American gives the guy a shekel and goes back to the first guy and gives him a twenty dollar bill. The American goes back to the guy who was yelling at him and says, 'You should be more like that guy. That's how you get Tzedakah.'
The yelling Shnurer turns to the first Shnurer, 'Shloimy. Look who's telling us how to run our business.'
So many Shnurers. They all have the same name. Always called Shnurer. Except Shloimy.
The Shnurer in America
I heard this one in shul. Anything told to you that disrupts the cantor's repetition of the Amidah is good. At least you're not paying attention to the prayer, and you're disturbing services. It makes a Jewish joke more enjoyable.
The Joke: A Shnurer visiting America is knocking on doors, going to shuls, showing up by people's hospital beds. He's doing anything to get money. He sees this man, Schwartz, and gives him the whole shpiel: 'I'm raising money for my family. A single dad of fifteen kids. How poor we are. We're trying to make it in Israel. My wife died. It is just me, raising eight children. We have nothing. We Live in rubble. My child is missing a leg. Oh Jerusalem. How I mourn my poverty.' Feeling bad, Schwartz gives the Shnurer two thousand dollars.
A few months later, Schwartz is in Jerusalem. Walking around the Old City he sees the Shnurer. He follows him to his house. He looks through the window and sees children running around in a beautiful home, laughing. A huge Shabbat table with guests. A chandelier fit for a Jew in Boro Park. A view of the Kotel. The wealth is abundant. He knocks on the door and the Shnurer invites Schwartz in. In a state of shock Schwartz asks the Shnurer, 'What is all of this about?! You have so much Bracha. You lied to me.' The Shnurer turns to him, 'What? It should bother you my wife is alive.'
Jerusalem really adds a sense of holiness to a Jewish joke. Also, add in a Yiddish word like 'shpiel' and it's a more Jewish joke.
Why the Shnurer answered the door, that part makes no sense. Any Shnurer should know you don't answer the door, or somebody will ask for something.
Alternative Ending: Shnurer asks Schwartz if he needs any money.
We need the Shnurers. Otherwise, you would give money without feeling guilty. And you would only give to poor people.
Without the Shnurer, you would be able to go to shul and focus on prayers. Or jokes. Always tell jokes in the middle of Davening. It's funnier when it disturbs people's Kavanah.
It's always good to add Schwartz as a name in a Jewish joke. It sounds more antisemitic that way.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.