Kinder Torah

For the week ending 15 June 2013 / 6 Tammuz 5773

Shampoo and the Jewish Problem

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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"You didn't shampoo your hair so we can't operate!"

This shocking statement was made by a nurse to the wife of the head of a Day School in Minneapolis who had not been given instructions on how to prepare herself for surgery.

The only way she would be able to avoid postponing the operation and remaining in the hospital an extra day was to rush out to a drugstore and purchase the required shampoo. But when she reached the nearby pharmacy she was disappointed to find it closed. After desperately banging on the door she was relieved to see a clerk open it, only to inform her that there was no way he could sell her anything since all the computerized cash registers had been shut down.

Explaining her urgent need for the shampoo, the lady begged the clerk to give her a tube and promised that her husband would arrive at eight o'clock, opening time, on the next morning to pay for it. Her appeal touched the clerk's heart and he consented.

The next morning her husband, a Slonimer chassid in traditional black garb, did indeed arrive at the designated hour to make payment. To his surprise, this created a hubbub among the clerks. They had made bets that morning as to whether he would actually come to pay. One clerk who lost the bet cried out, "It's not fair. You didn't tell us his wife was Jewish!"

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