Friday, November 2, 2007


The Yeshiva had a Farbrengen tonight with Rabbi Chayim Friedman in honor of 20 Cheshvan. It was very good, as all of his Farbies have been. While he was telling one story I was reminded on another. You want to hear both? Read? Whatever? No problem. Here's the one he said. Oh, and in response to the almighty editor's comment on the previous post, that is hardly the case. There's a thick dollop, thank you. Anyway, the story.
Reb Mendel Futerfas was once Farbrenging when a bunch of Bochurim from a snag Yeshiva piled in. Their leader was being very cynical, making jokes, etc, and eventually Reb Mendel stopped and asked him his name. "Ber", the Bochur answered. Reb Mendel said that he'd like to tell a story. Once there was a dog that got lost in a forest, and got found by a bear. The bear felt bad, and said, "don't worry, you can come live with us bears." There was only one problem. Dogs don't look like bears! But no worries, the bear found the dog a bear costume, and everyone was happy. The bear taught the dog one very important lesson. Dogs say "hello" be sniffing each other's tails, whereas bears greet one another with a nuzzle on the nose. So, wonderful, many years pass, and eventually the dog, who's a good politician, becomes leader of all the bears. They hold a grand inauguration ceremony, and the dogbear greets all the bears with a nuzzle. Eventually the old bear who had rescued the dogbear came up, and the dogbear moved to his nose. But the bear said, "Oh no my friend, I know who you really are, you can Kushen Tuchus." Which means "kiss my rear". So, Mendel said, all your friends here are so impressed with your jokes and comments, Ber, but I know who you really are. Kushen Tuchus.
Nice story, no? It reminded me of another one that I heard from Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein who came to Farbreng when I was in Mesifta, many years ago. In Russia people like to go bear-hunting in the winter. Why? After all, normal people prefer to stay at home in the winter in their cozy homes, sipping hot apple cider and playing rummicube, or at the worst risk. But I digress. Anyway, there's only one slight problem: in the winter, not only are normal people inside, so are the bears. This, my student, is called hibernation. So the hunters, being Russian came up with a brilliant system. They trained small dogs to go into the caves where the bears sleep and to bite them on their reproductive facilities (this is a family blog after all). The bears come running out, enraged, and perhaps kill a couple of the dogs. But the hunter is waiting, and manages to shoot the bear. Only a Russian could think this up, no? Anyway, so too are the Rebbe's Shluchim. We go out to the caves, to places where Frum Jews are not found, in the winter, in a time of Galus, and we bite the bear's balls. What the parallel exactly is for the Shluchim I know not. Every one of them has his own method. But anyway, people get annoyed, even outraged, and maybe even a couple Shluchim will lose big time. But the bear comes out, the Jew wakes up, and boom, the hunter, the Rebbe, gets the guy. But instead of hanging a head on a mantelpiece we hang Tefillin on a head.
SO these are two nice stories, and I hope you've enjoyed them. Oh, you're waiting for your humor for the day? Sorry, no luck. Once again I find myself at quarter to one, and the humor wells have run dry. All that's left is serious, committed, respectable Real Shliach.


Anonymous said...

Ok, i'm still dizzy from changing the clock, but this post cries out for a comment: The second story, the one you quote from DH Klien, is accurately quoted. The story originated from Reb Mendel Futeras, but was altered by DHK in a way that made you remember it when you heard the KIT story about the bear-king doggy. Reb Mendel said that the hunter's doggies would go a yap (bark) at the bears and nip at them and get them to come out of the protective areas, so the hunter can shoot them. Reb Mendel then said that we, the shluchim are to yap and nip at the bear - the assimilated American Jew - and get him to come out from his protective area and bring him to the Rebbe and chassidus so that he can taste the truth.
Apparently, DHK added the fun part of the story, which is why, when telling a story of R' Mendel, and you add the shtuss that is added for entertainment value only by DHK or anyone else, you are correct in quoting the original mis-quoter.


e said...

A thick dollop which only provides a thin veneer, because the dollop doesn't stick to the recipient thereof.