Schlepping Toward Bethlehem to be Born

Years ago I was told a joke by a Jewish endocrinologist who was one of my mentors as an intern.  He was second generation and spoke Yiddish and had an ear for accents.  He told this joke in a Joisey accent.  Most of my Christian friends smile with a pained look when I tell it, but I’ve never forgotten it.

“It was late at night and a young couple who had been traveling all day came to a hostel.  They knocked on the door looking for a room and were told that the place was full.  The young, very pregnant mother looked ready to cry and the inn keeper, taking pity on them told them that they could sleep in the hay in the barn.  Mary, the young woman promptly went into labor, had a healthy baby boy, and was lying next to where she had placed him in the hay in the manger.

Three men who had been following a star arrived and asked the inn keeper whether they had seen a young couple about to expect a child.  The inn keeper replied that he had and sent them to the barn.

As the men were walking in the dark through the barnyard one of them stepped on a rake that had been left on the ground.  The rake flew up and struck the searcher on the forehead.  “Jesus Christ” he yelled.

From inside the barn the young mother said, “You know Joseph, I think I like that better than Hoiman.”

Views: 129

Comment by koshersalaami on December 23, 2017 at 11:50am

I like that

Not too many second generation guys speak Yiddish. First generation do. I know a little, my father was fluent, and his parents were immigrants. 

Comment by koshersalaami on December 23, 2017 at 12:08pm

Oh, great title

Comment by koshersalaami on December 23, 2017 at 12:29pm

I tried to write a related post but technically I could’t. When I moved posts from Open to here, I backdated them to original publish dates so they wouldn’t clog the feed. While backdating, I wanted to see how far back I could backdate. I dated a post from the 1850’s, thematically appropriate, and another from 999 (Y1K). I found I could go back to three digits. I wanted a Year 0 post but it wouldn’t let me. It was a one sentence, titled Bethlehem:

No, Yossele (Yiddish diminutive for Joseph), YOU were supposed to make the reservation!

Comment by Rodney Roe on December 23, 2017 at 2:08pm

That's funny, too. 

The title actually came about some time ago when my wife misread the line in Yeats' poem.

Also, it makes more sense for Dr. Markowicz to be first generation; not second, but I seem to remember that his parents and grandparents spoke Yiddish at home.  It's been a long time.

Comment by Anna Herrington on December 23, 2017 at 4:08pm

I keep seeing Schtupping/shtupping Toward Bethlehem.



Comment by koshersalaami on December 23, 2017 at 5:19pm

Mind out of the gutter, Dear

Comment by Anna Herrington on December 23, 2017 at 6:44pm

I think it was the 'to be born' that triggered it, then the perversity of this particular couple....

Just cracked me up.


I wrestle with the imp of the perverse far too often. while my family just stares. then they go back to their puns.

Comment by Rodney Roe on December 23, 2017 at 7:09pm

“The imp of the perverse” seems to be peeking around the corner all the time, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the laugh, Anna.

Comment by moki ikom on December 23, 2017 at 11:41pm

i usually get goddamn mixed up with jesuschrist used in vain in pain


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