Yankel bought a parrot, hoping it might learn to say a few words. The next morning, he found the bird on the eastern side of its cage, rocking back and forth, mumbling. Stooping to listen, Yankel was shocked to hear his new parrot praying in Hebrew.
“Of course. Modern Orthodox. Are we going to shul on Rosh Hashanah?”
“You want me to take you to synagogue?! This is unbelievable. Is this some kind of secret? Can I tell my friends about you?”
“Tell anyone you want. Now let me finish davening.”
Yankel immediately started bragging about his Jewish parrot. No one believed him, so he started taking bets. By Rosh Hashanah he had a thousand dollars riding on the bird.
On the Day of Judgement, Yankel proudly set his parrot in front of the room. Everyone stared, even the rabbi, who bet twenty bucks against any parrot praying.
Yankel urged it to pray. People started chuckling around the room.
The parrot clucked a few times like any bird of its kind, but it didn’t pray. Yankel lost a thousand bucks.
Back at home, Yankel grabbed the parrot by its scrawny neck.
“Now you better start praying, you little twit! You humiliated me! You’re a dead bird!”
“Don’t be a shmuck, Yankel! Yom Kippur’s next week. Everyone looks forward all year to the cantor singing Kol Nidrei on Yom Kippur. Tell everyone I’ll sing Kol Nidrei.”
“Why would I do that?! You didn’t even pray in shul today!”
“Exactly. Think of the odds you’ll get!”
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