Smart Jews

An elderly Jewish man was traveling by slow train from Minsk to Pinsk. At one of the frequent stops he felt hungry and bought a large salt herring. At the same stop a young Russian boy entered into his compartment and as the old man slowly munched his herring the young boy began to tease him.

He said You Jews have a reputation of being so smart. How come that you are all so clever? The old man said to him in answer Since you are such a polite young man and asked so nicely, I will tell you the secret, if you promise not to tell a soul The boy swore by all that was holy that he would never reveal such a precious secret, so the old man finally told him We Jews are so smart because we eat the head of the salt herring The boy was really impressed and said I would like to get smart right away, I see you still have the head of the herring you have just eaten, would you sell it to me?

The old man was reluctant, but in the end he gave in and said All right, all right, you can have it for a ruble Well, a ruble was a high price, but the boy could not wait to get started, so he paid and began to eat the head of the herring. When he was nearly finished he shouted, Wait a minute, I saw you by that whole herring for just ten kopecks and I paid you ten times that just for the head!

The old Jew smiled back at him and said You see, it is begging to work already

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