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The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future

New Spiritual Leader

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A rabbi is brought to speak before a congregation that is seeking a new spiritual leader.

"What will you be talking about?" the president asks the rabbi as they walk to the synagogue.

"Sabbath observance, the need for Jews to make this day truly holy, without shopping, without spending money."

"I wouldn't do that," the president warns. "The people here have very little free time; they must go shopping when they have the chance. Isn't there something else you think you could speak about?"

"Kashrut."

"I wouldn't get into that, Rabbi. Don't you realize how difficult keeping kosher is out here? Kosher meat is much more expensive. Then the poor housewife has to keep two sets of dishes and silverware, and constantly worry that they don't get mixed up. Can't you speak about something else?"

"Okay, I'll speak about Jewish education, the need for religious schools--"

"Are you crazy, Rabbi? The people here don't want to segregate Jews from everybody else. Besides, day-school hours are so long, it won't leave kids any time for music lessons, dance classes, karate, basketball."

"I don't understand, the rabbi says. "If I can't speak about the Sabbath, about kashrut, about Jewish education, what do you want me to speak about?"

"Why, speak about Judaism of course."