Monday, July 16, 2007

Shy Cow

The only cow in a small town in Poland stopped giving milk. The villagers did some research and found they could buy a cow from Moscow for 2,000 rubles or a cow from Minsk for 1,000 rubles. Being poor, they bought the cow from Minsk.

The cow was wonderful. It produced lots of milk all the time. The people were amazed and very happy. They decided to acquire a bull to mate with the cow and produce more cows just like it. Then they would never have to worry about their milk supply again.

They bought the bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow. However, whenever the bull came close to the cow, the cow would move away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow from move away from the bull and he could not succeed in his quest.

The people were very upset. They decided to ask the Rabbi, who was very wise, what they should do. The people told the Rabbi, “Whenever the bull approaches our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. If he approaches from the front, she backs off. When he approaches from the side, she walks away to the other side.”

The Rabbi thought about this for a moment and then asked the villagers, “Did you buy this cow from Minsk?”

The people were dumbfounded. They had never mentioned where they’d gotten the cow. One older villager said, “You truly are a wise Rabbi! How did you know we got the cow from Minsk?”

The Rabbi answered, “My wife is from Minsk.”

With thanks to Leigh Lerner, the wisest Rabbi I know.

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