A Day in the Life of Rabbi Gartenberg
A woman called me last week.
She said, "Oh, Thank God, I found a Rabbi. You are the first one who answered the phone."
"My pleasure." I said, "How can I help you?"
"I have a Jewish contractor. He was very nice before I hired him. But since he started to work for me, he is very rude and inconsiderate. I felt that by speaking to a Rabbi, I might get advice on how to speak to him."
I said, "I think you should confront him, share with him the behavior you find unacceptable. Ask him to be considerate and respectful of your needs. If he continues to be rude, then you have every right to discontinue your business relationship."
She said, "I was hoping that I could tell him I spoke to a Rabbi who is prepared to speak to him directly about his behavior. "
I told her that I did not think I would be prepared to speak to him, but that she needed to do this herself. I told her that it was unlikely that he would listen to a rabbi he did not know. I asked her why she thought he would listen to a rabbi. She told me that he was Israeli. I told her that it was even less likely that he would listen to a rabbi. She continued to fret with a strangely cheery voice about how to deal with this contractor. She obviously did not know the Jewish art of 'kvetching'. I saw that this was a morass that I best not get involved in, apologized and wished her the best of luck.
When I got off the phone, I realized what I should have said to her.
Get a Jewish lawyer.
A good joke to pass on.
Morty visits Dr. Saul, the veterinarian, and says, "My dog has a problem."
Dr. Saul says, "So, tell me about the dog and the problem."
"It's a Jewish dog. His name is Irving and he can talk," says Morty.
"He can talk?" the doubting doctor asks.
"Watch this!" Morty points to the dog and commands: "Irving, Fetch!"
Irving, the dog, begins to walk toward the door, then turns around and says, "So why are you talking to me like that? You always order me around like I'm nothing. And you only call me when you want something. And then you make me sleep on the floor, with my arthritis. You give me this fahkahkta food with all the salt and fat, and you tell me it's a special diet. It tastes like dreck! YOU should eat it yourself! And do you ever take me for a decent walk? NO, it's out of the house, a short pish, and right back home. Maybe if I could stretch out a little, the sciatica wouldn't kill me so much! I should roll over and play dead for real for all you care!"
Dr. Saul is amazed, "This is remarkable! So, what's the problem?"
Morty says, "He has a hearing problem! I said 'Fetch,' not 'Kvetch".