11
Jul

Piety

It is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. As the day draws
to a close, in a small synagogue in Vilna, the rabbi is praying
fervently. Oh, God, he says, I am nothing before you! The cantor
also says, Oh, God, I am nothing before you! Then the shammes,(*)
inspired by their piety, cries out, Oh, God, I am nothing before
you! The cantor raises his eyebrows, looks at the rabbi, and says,
Nu, look who thinks hes nothing!

(*)shammes: beadle, responsible for maintaining the synagogue, ushering, etc.
[Ed: Attributed to Arthur Naiman]

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