A Passover Joke

David and Herschel were two apple peddlers in a small shtetl in Galicia called, depending upon who you ask either “Schwini Gorodka” or “Shwenney Gorodka” — it doesn’t matter because it hasn’t existed since world war two. One day as they were pushing their carts they spied a 10 kopek piece at the same time. “Let’s get two tickets to Belgium.” said David. “I think we could make money trading on the Bourse. I have a cousin who is set up there.” Herschel was afraid to leave his town and said “No, you go.” And David went to Belgium.

Years passed. Herschel got married. He now had a small fruit store, but life was hard. Passover came around and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to even afford a seder dinner. Two weeks before the day a coach in four arrived in Schwini Gorodka. It was an invitation to seder in Bruges at home of a prosperous trader — David Handelman. An invitation for one. For Herschel! Herschel’s wife said go. And he went.

A week after the Seder, Herschel came back. It was if somebody had hit him on the head with a rock. He was so stunned. His wife asked him “What was it like?” Herschel could say nothing. But he went “Ahh.” And she asked “Is David rich? Does he have a nice house?” and her husband would say “Ah.”

In the middle of the night Herschel’s wife was trying to sleep. Herschel kept her awake. He kept saying “Ohh!” and “Ahh!” Finally she got so annoyed she pulled him by the nose and said “Tell me what happened at the house in Bruges? Was he rich or not?”

“Was he rich?” said Herschel. “At the end of the seder the song Chad Gadya? You know?”

“Of course I know!” snapped his wife.

“Well in the house of my old friend, David Handelman, the prosperous trader on the Bourse, late of Schwini Gorodka and now of Bruges…the father bought the kid for three zuzim!”


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