It's Adar, and I just can't resist including this well known, but still funny tale. I dedicate it not only to my Rebbe, but to my daughter Kaziah as well, a
member of the Mt. Holyoke varsity equestrian team.
Marbim b'simcha everyone!
If you've got a good one for Adar,
please pass it on below in the comments section.
This is a story about a Jewish guy who buys a horse. The fellow who sells it to him tells him, "This horse is different than other horses – it is trained to start moving when you say “Baruch Hashem” (Thank G!d), and he's trained to stop only when you say “Shma Yisrael” (Hear Oh Israel)
The new owner is all excited with his new purchase and gets on the horse and practices.
“Baruch Hashem” he says, and the horse breaks into a trot. The man is delighted, and a few moments later calls out “Shma Yisrael”, and sure enough, the horse stops.
"Wow, this is great", the man laughs, "it's a Jewish horse!"
And so it was that some days later, while galloping on his horse through the forest and having the time of his life, he sees in the distance that the path ahead ends at a steep cliff. His heart begins to race, when suddenly he realizes that he has forgotten the two-word formula needed to make the horse stop!
"It's a well known expression", he says to himself. "What is it, what is it?" In confusion he shouts, "Shabbat shalom!" The horse keeps going.
"Adon Olam!" he cries out. The horse keeps going, faster still to the abyss.
In near desparation he wails “B'vak'asha!”. But the horse keeps galloping.
Realizing that he is about to die, he does what any Jew would do when confronted with certain death. He screams out, “Shma Yisrael!”.
And as trained, the horse stops suddenly – barely a foot from the edge of the cliff. Shaking like a leaf, he pulls out his handkerchief and wipes the sweat from his forehead.
“Whew" he exhales, "Baruch Hashem!"
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Mark Novak is a "free-range" rabbi who lives in Washington DC and works, well, just about everywhere. In 2012 he founded Minyan Oneg Shabbat, home to MOSH (Minyan Oneg Shabbat), MindfulMOSH (Jewish mindfulness gathering), and