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This is the fifty-third set of jokes

(#1155) The end is near
Maurice is in hospital and knows he is dying. As he lays in bed in his private room, struggling to breathe, his family and children around him, he starts to talk very quietly.
"Freda," he whispers.
"Yes dear, what is it?" Freda says.
"I want you should know something before I die. Harry the butcher owes me £100, Levine the pharmacist owes me £400, and our next door neighbour Moishe owes me £600 and the return of my lawnmower. Don’t let them off, will you?"
"Of course I won’t, darling," Freda replies.
Freda turns to her children and says, "Oy, what a wonderful man your father is. Let this be a lesson to you all - even though he’s dying, he still knows who owes him money. What a mensh he is."
Then Maurice then finds some strength to say a bit more. "Freda, I want you also to know that I still owe Bernard, my cousin, £1,700 of the £5,000 he lent me 3 years ago."
"Oy veh," cries Freda, "it’s nearly the end for my Maurice – he’s getting delirious."

(#1156) The fast day
[My thanks to Ian O for the following]
It’s Yom Kippur and Aaron is in synagogue, but he’s not feeling too good. So during a short break after the Rabbi’s sermon, he goes over to the Rabbi.
"I really need your help, Rabbi Levy."
"Yes, Aaron, how can I help," says the Rabbi.
"I obviously know that I’m meant to fast today, but I’m so, so thirsty. Please, Rabbi, can I have something to drink?"
Rabbi Levy replies in a firm voice, "I’m sorry, Aaron, but you know the rules - it has to be a life-threatening situation before I can allow you to break the fast."
"But Rabbi, it is serious," says Aaron, "if I don't get something to drink, I’ll faint from thirst. Really I will."
After much to-ing and fro-ing, Rabbi Levy relents and instructs the Gabbai to give Aaron a small glass of water kept just for such emergencies. As soon as Aaron has drunk the water, he says, "Thank you Rabbi, I promise you that it will be the last time I'll eat salt herring for breakfast on Yom Kippur."

(#1157) The school inspector
[My thanks to Jack L for the following]
In the 1970's, a Russian school inspector is questioning the children. He points to one of the boys and says, "Who is your father?"
The boy replies, "The Soviet Union."
 He then asks, "Who is your mother?"
"The communist party," came the reply.
"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to be a Stankhanovite worker for the glory of the state and the party."
The inspector then points to one of the girls and asks, "Who is your father?"
The girl answers, "The Soviet Union."
"Who is your mother?"
"The communist party."
"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"A heroine of the Soviet Union raising lots of children for the state and party."
The inspector looks round and sees a Jewish boy tucked away at the back trying to look inconspicuous. He points and says, "What’s your name?"
The boy replies, "Haim Abramovitch."
"Who is your father?"
"The Soviet Union."
"Who is your mother?"
"The communist party."
"And what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Haim replies, "An orphan."

(#1158) The watch tower
In the middle of a forest is a small town. It was built far from the main roads and the Jews living there were afraid that when the Messiah comes, he would not know they were there and would pass them by. So they build a tower on the edge of town and appoint the town beggar as watchman. If the Messiah should come, the watchman would give him directions to the town.
One day a stranger visits the tower and as instructed, the watchman comes down to greet him.
"What are you doing here in the middle of nowhere?" asks the stranger.
"My job is to sit on top of this tower and wait for the Messiah," answers the watchman.
"So how do you like your job?" the stranger asks, "it can’t pay you much."
"I know," replies the watchman, "but at least it’s steady work."

(#1159) Riddle
Q: How do Jewish wives prepare their children for supper?
A: They put them in the car.

(#1160) The birthday pullover
It was Victor’s birthday in a few days time and his bubbeh goes out to buy him a present. She finds a menswear shop that was having a half-price sale and buys a luxurious rollneck pullover for him. Unfortunately, the pullover was for a size 14 neck and Victor was a size 18.
When Victor receives his present, he immediately tries it on. He then writes a thank you note to his bubbeh. This is what he wrote: -

"Dear Bubbeh, Thanks a lot for the beautiful pullover. I'd write more but I'm all choked up."
(#1161) Better late than never
Max is having a cup of tea in his best friend Morris’s house. Morris was commenting on the time and the fact that his wife had not yet returned home from her shopping.
“Beckie’s two hours late, Max.”
“She’s probably been kidnapped or she’s been involved in a terrible car crash,” replies Max, “or maybe she’s still shopping.”
“Oy Vay!” says Morris, “I hope she’s not shopping!”

(#1162) The visitor
Issy has just had a minor operation at a private hospital and is having a rest when a young, attractive and smartly dressed woman knocks on his door.
The door opens a bit and a woman’s voice from within says, "Yes, vat do you vant?"
"Hello," says the young lady, "I have come to see how Issy’s doing after his operation."
"He’s doing vell, but he’s asleep," says the voice from within. "Who are you?"
"Oh, I'm his ….sister," replies the young lady.
"How very nice. I am pleased to meet you. So for you, I vill wake him up."
With that, she walks over to the bed, taps Issy on the shoulder and says, "Issy, vake up. Vake up Issy, you shyster. Vhy you not tell me? I am your mama! Your shiksa - she's so much better than your wife?"

(#1163) Business turnaround
Sam meets his friend Moshe in Brent Cross shopping centre. "Hi Moshe, I haven’t seen you for some months. So nu? How is the Company doing that you set up with Maurice last year?"
"Well, as I told you then, I put up the money and Maurice put in his business knowledge. But things have changed a bit since then."
"What do you mean?" Sam asks.
"Now Maurice has the money and I have the business experience."

(#1164) So what?
Sadie was in her garden hanging up her washing when Sharon, her next door neighbour, poked her head over the fence and said, "I don’t like being the one to have to tell you this Sadie, but there's a rumour going around that your husband Cyril is chasing the shiksas."
"So what?" said Sadie.
"But at his age!" said Sharon, "He's over 70 isn’t he?"
"Nu, so he's seventy-two, so what?" replied Sadie, "Let him chase girls. Dogs chase cars, but when they catch one, can they drive it?"

(#1165) The stock market
One day, little Benny asks his father Harry question, "Dad, what is the Stock Market?"
"Benny," replies Harry, "you’re too young to understand. Later."
"I am not that young," says Benny, "I want to know now."
"Please, wait a few years, then you will understand better."
"Dad, I don't want to start life poor, like you did, selling second-hand furniture. That’s why I want to know now"
"Alright, already," said Harry, "It's like this.  You buy two chickens and the two chickens lay eggs.  So, next year, you have thirty chickens.  These thirty chickens then all lay eggs and these eggs turn into chickens.  So you end up having thousands of chickens and you’re well off.  You see, this is the stock market. You understand, Benny?"
"Yes, Dad."
"And then, one day, the sky opens up and it rains. It rains like in the days of Noah. The floods come and they wash away all the chickens until they drown and you then have only two or three chickens left. You see, this is the stock market - you should have bought ducks."

(#1166) Use of arms
Hymie is walking along Hendon Avenue carrying a large, heavy watermelon when he sees his friend Abe coming towards him.
"Hi Abe." says Hymie, "Nu? How are you?"
"Oy vay," says Abe, throwing his arms up in the air, "Don't ask! But tell me, how are you?"
"Me?" says Hymie, "You ask how I am? You want I drop my watermelon?"

(#1167) Gold
Benny and Max meet one shabbes whilst parking their cars down a little road out of site of the synagogue. As they begin their 5minute walk to the synagogue, Benny says, "I’m glad I’ve bumped into you Max. It’s my parents' Golden wedding anniversary next week and I would like you to come to the party."
"It’s nice of you to ask," replies Max, "Thank you, yes, I will come."
"And if you have some friends you can bring with you, please do so," says Benny, "It will be nice to have a lot of people at the party."
"Yes. I can bring Hymie Cohen and Melvyn Levy."
"Great, but don't forget to remind them to bring something gold."
So Max brought a goldfish, Hymie Cohen brought a jar of Gold Blend coffee and Melvyn Levy brought Howard Goldberg.

(#1168) From the masters
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays."  (Henny Youngman)
"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me - he said I was being ridiculous, everyone hasn't met me yet."  (Rodney Dangerfield)
"Marriage is a wonderful institution - but who wants to live in an institution?"  (Groucho Marx)
"This is the sixth book I've written - not bad for a guy who's read only two."  (George Burns)
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger - comedy is if you fall into an sewer and die."  (Mel Brooks)
"It's not that I'm afraid to die - I just don't want to be there when it happens."  (Woody Allen)
"The pen is mightier than the sword - and considerably easier to write with."  (Marty Feldman)

(#1169) The affair - 1
Moshe tells Abe one day, “I’m having an affair with a married woman called Freda.”
Abe replies, “Mazeltov. I’ve been in the same situation myself so I’m in a good position to give you a piece of valuable advice.”
”So tell me this advice, already,” says Moshe.
“Well,” replies Abe, “You must keep your affair a secret under pain of death. Only you, Freda and every one of her best friends must know.”

(#1170) The affair - 2
Abe says to Moshe, “Another strange thing about having affairs with older women is that within minutes of you making love to them, they feel this compulsion to phone their daughter.”

(#1171) Par for the course
The police are called to Avrahom’s house in Hampstead Garden Suburb - the neighbours have heard some screaming. When the police arrive, they find Avrahom’s wife Sadie standing over Avrahom’s lifeless body holding a 6-iron in her hand. The club is still dripping blood.
A police constable asks Sadie, "Is that your husband, madam?"
"Yes it is," replies Sadie.
"And did you hit him with that golf club you’re holding, madam?"
"Certainly," replies Sadie. She then drops the golf club, puts her hands over her face and begins to cry. "We only just got back from playing at a golf tournament," she sobs.
"How many times did you hit your husband, madam?" asks the constable.
"I don't know," replies Sadie. "Six, seven, maybe even eight times – but just put me down for a six."

(#1172) Green or red?
Sadie was talking to her best friend Rachel. “Is that a new ring I see you’re wearing, Rachel?”
“Yes it is, Sadie,” replies Rachel. “My husband Max bought it for me. It’s special. I call it my mood ring.”
“Why do you call it that?” asks Sadie.
 “Well, when I'm in a good mood it turns green and when I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a red mark on his forehead.

(#1173) Directions
Shlomo goes to see his psychiatrist. "Doctor, my wife Fay is being unfaithful to me. Every night, she goes to Palwin’s Wine Bar and picks up a man. She sleeps with anybody who asks her to. I'm going crazy with worry. What on earth should I do?"
Relax," says the Doctor, "take a couple of deep breaths and try to calm down. Now, first of all tell me exactly where Palwin’s Wine Bar is."

(#1174) The last request
Issy was dying. His wife was with him, standing next to his bed. As he was drawing his last few breaths, he gasped, "Sadie, I have one last request."
"Of course, Issy, what is it?" Sadie asked softly.
"Six months after I die," he said, "I want you to marry Louis."
"But I thought you hated Louis," Sadie said.
With his final breath, Issy said, "I do."

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