Uncle Moishe and my Aunt went to their son’s place out on Long Island for Rosh HaShannah, which kind of shocked me because they always go to their Shul in the Bronx for the High Holidays. He did say though, that they were back on their home turf for Yom Kippur. I kidded him that he was getting a little wild in his old age. To which he replied, “Nu, what better way to observe the new year then with family”. Okay then, don’t try to kid a kidder.
Anyway, Unc commented that his son Barry’s synagogue had a woman Rabbi which, of course, Unc harrumphed at and amused my Aunt to no end. During the Rabbi’s sermon she told a story to illustrate that there were always different ways to overcome obstacles in life. Uncle Moishe, at the noodging of my Aunt, who I could hear through the phone laughing loudly in the background, reluctantly related to me the story the Rabbi told. It seems Joseph, Abe and David were hiking in the wilderness when they came across a mighty, raging torrent of a river which they had to cross to continue their trek. So Joseph prayed, “Please G-d give me the strength to cross this river.” Poof! G-d gave Joseph strong legs and arms and he was able to swim across the river although he almost drowned several times. Seeing this David prayed, “Please G-d, give me the strength and the tools to cross this mighty river”. Poof! G-d gave David a rowboat and he too was able to cross the river after nearly capsizing a couple of times. Abe had watched how things had worked out for the others and so he also prayed, ” Please G-d, give me the tools and intelligence to cross this terrible river”. Poof! G-d turned Abe into a woman and gave her a map. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards and then walked across a bridge. Unc said he could still feel where my Aunt had elbowed him in the side when the Rabbi told this story.