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Xmas vrs. Chanukah

Now, if anyone asks you what the difference is between Xmas and Chanukah, you will know what and how to answer!

1. Xmas is one day, same day every year, December 25.

Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure.

Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.

2. Christmas is a major holiday.

Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos...

Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas.

No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc, so even if you are an illiterate klutzyou can't go wrong.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts.

Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.

6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills.

Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful...Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful....

Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful from sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking.

A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. Jews burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages. Unless of course you are in Israel where they celebrate by eating inedible cherry donuts call sufganiot.

9. Parents deliver presents to their children during Christmas.

Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

10. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary and Joseph.

The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta-whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

11. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized.

We save money on Chanukah, less gifts to buy, less to return, less junk to deal with, easier to sleep with.

Better to stick with Chanukah!

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Newly Religious

A lifelong backslider suddenly "saw the light" and approached the local rabbi. "Rabbi, from now on I will attend synagogue services regularly," he promised.

"I'm glad to hear that," smiled the wise old rabbi, "but remember -- going to synagogue doesn't make you a Jew any more than going to a poultry farm makes you a chicken!"

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Losing Face

Yankel was afraid to return home without a kopek to his name. His shrewish wife, he knew, would din a never-ending tirade into his ears until they ached. She had cautioned him against leaving their small town to seek his fortune in Moscow, but would he listen? No, not he! He had to be the big fortune-seeker with the big ideas!

Now, after spending a year in the metropolis, he realized that she had been right; he never should have left. Misfortune had confronted him on all sides, and at year's end, he was left with only one problem -- how to save face before his wife.

"How can I return home without bringing any money at all?" pondered Yankel. "I must think of a logical excuse or I will never hear the end of it." Just then he hit upon a brilliant idea. Reaching into his pocket he withdrew a large red handkerchief and tied it across his face so that only his eyes were visible.

The moment he opened the door to his house, his wife screamed: "Oy gevald! What happened to your face?"

"It was terrible!" moaned Yankel quite convincingly. "Just before I reached town I was held up by a band of Cossacks who ordered me to give them all my money or they would cut off my nose."

"Shlemiel!" wailed his wife. "What kind of life will you have without a nose! Why didn't you give them your money?"

"Sha! Sha! Don't carry on so," grinned Yankel, snatching off the red handkerchief. "That's exactly what I did!"

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Abe was making out his Chanukah list...

"Honey," he says to his wife, "How do you spell DVD?"

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In the Book Store

One December, when I was assistant manager of a children's bookstore, we set up a special rack of small holiday books.

Looking at a few of the Chanukah books on display, a customer remarked to the counter clerk how well priced they were.

"Yes," the clerk agreed. "And they make great stocking stuffers too!"

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A Yiddish Saying

"If I live, I'll see you Monday, if not, Tuesday."

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Sitting Shiva

Moishe had a wife named Gitel, who nagged him unmercifully. From morning until night (and sometimes later), for the 65 years they had been married, Gitel was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out buying and selling junk and scrap metal with his old mule. Consequently, he was away from home often.

One day, when Moishe was negotiating a deal with another junk dealer, Gitel brought him lunch. Moishe drove the mule into the shade, sat down on a stump and began to eat his lunch. Immediately after saying his broches (blessings), Gitel began nagging him again. Complain, gripe, nag, nag; it just never stopped. All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet and caught Gitel smack in the back of the head, killing her dead on the spot.

At the funeral the next day, one of the Rabbis noticed something rather odd. When a female mourner approached Moishe, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a male mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement. This was so consistent, the Rabbi decided to ask him about it.

After the funeral, the Rabbi spoke to Moishe and asked his old and dear friend why he nodded his head in agreement with all the women, but always shook his head in disagreement with the men.

Moishe said, "Well, the women would come up and say something about what a good person my wife was, or how she was such a good cook or devoted wife, so I'd nod my head in agreement."

"And what about the men?" the Rabbi asked.

"They wanted to know if the mule was for sale."

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It's a Gas

Becky, who belonged to a synagogue group devoted to visiting and helping the sick members of her congregation, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas.

As luck would have it a gas station was just a block away.

She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.

The attendant told her the only gas can he owned had been loaned out but she could wait until it was returned.

Since Becky was on the way to see another patient and behind schedule, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.

She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she always had handy for needy patients. Always resourceful she carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gas, and carried the full bedpan back to her car which was decorated with many Hebrew decals and bumper stickers.

As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two non-Jewish men watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, "If it starts, I'm turning Jewish."

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Pray Before You Eat!

The Religious School Teacher asks, "Now, Sammy, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"

"No sir," little Sammy replies, "I don't have to. My Mom is a good cook."

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Marriage is a three-ring circus: Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.

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