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Anti-Semitism was at an all-time high. A non-Jewish townsman called a Jewish man a Jew. 'What do we do? How many Jews need to be called Jews before too many Jews have been called Jews?' Asked Moishele. Berel the Gabai responded immediately, 'We will fight it. No Jew should be called a Jew.' 'That's my Gabai,' announced Fayge. Moishele continued, 'But how do we fight it?' Berel responded again, 'That's a different question.'
All were scared. The Wise Men of Chelm discussed the situation throughout the evening and decided that they were Jews. After days of discussion, they couldn’t figure out why anybody would call a Jewish man a Jew. It was an outrage. All were scared to leave the meetings, lest someone pass them and call them a Jew. The cry was heard throughout the town, 'How do we stop Jews from being called Jews?'
The shul board of Chelm sat, wise in number. 'What do we do?' was the question that was raised again. 'Brilliant question,' Fayge admired. It was decided that they should all wear baseball hats.
The next day they wore baseball hats, but that didn’t work, as nobody plays baseball in Chelm. So, they met again.
They brainstormed for a few more days, and tried different ideas like becoming more athletic, shopping at Walmart and becoming ice hockey fans. Nothing worked. They even ate sushi. Nothing helped. They were still Jews. Shlomo advised, 'Maybe we should just call ourselves "people"? This way, nobody could call us "Jews.”' Bayla loved the idea, 'We will identify as people.' The rabbi commended them, 'Identity is very important.' And they all left that meeting with people pride, walking the streets of Chelm with yarmulkes, head coverings, skirts and bekishas. And all of the townsmen of Chelm hated people.
People stopped hating Jews. B"H.
The meetings led to many more meetings of confusion, as the board couldn’t decide if the decision of being called 'people' was made by Jews or people. Many people became offended as people.
The ADL did not get involved in this episode, as they focus on people not hating Jews. They were at a loss.
The next week, one of the members of the congregation said he heard the word 'Jew' being used in his Jewish history class at Chelm College of Culture. 'Disgrace!' they shouted. 'What should we do about this? Anti-Semitism still exists two thousand years ago,' Moishele said. And he continued to philosophize, 'And it is people who are saying this.' Yankel jumped in, 'We will lock the doors of the shul, so no people can get in.' And no people were allowed in the shul, and the shul was empty.
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That is how the punchline of a Jewish joke should look. Like you're questioning something, dealing with serious stomach issues, or giving a sermon.