Jewish Humor: How Lawyers came to be

    January 2010            
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Lawyers: In the Beginning

By Don Entlich

Most people don't know where lawyers come from. Well you can't have lawyers without laws and since Moses is considered to be the "giver of the laws", lawyers can trace their ancestry back to the time of Moses. Here is how lawyers came to be (my interpretation):

Moses and the Israelites (later to be known as Jews) after escaping from Pharaoh ended up in the Sinai desert wondering what to do next…One evening Moses had a dream…God appeared in his dream and said to Moses:

God: Moses, I am the Lord your God and I command you to get your hammer and chisel and climb to the top of Mt Sinai. When you get there, strike your hammer three times on the large stone and I will give you your instructions.

Moses: Lord, can't I sleep for just 10 more minutes? After all, I've been leading the Israelites for the last 40 days looking for water to make more unleavened bread (later known as Manischewitz matzo) .

God: I want you on top of Mt Sinai in the next 30 minutes or I'll give you plenty of water to think about (later to be known as waterboarding).

So Moses got his butt (later known as tuchos) out of bed, picked up his hammer and chisel and proceeded to climb to the top of Mt Sinai. He then tapped his hammer three times on the big rock and next he heard God's voice.

God: I've created 10 laws that you and the Israelites will follow. You job is to chisel these laws into the stone to create tablets to show to your flock.

Moses: Can I go back and get my pen and papyrus?

God: My laws will be in stone so they cannot be erased (later known as hitting the delete key).

Moses started chiseling and right away complained to God.

Moses: This stone is like granite. It will take me a week to chisel the 10 commandments. How about if we cut that back to 5 commandments?

God: You're lucky I didn't give you the other 10 so shut up and keep chiseling.

Moses: Lord, one more request please.

God: OK, what?

Moses: Can I get my master engraver Jacob (Jack) ben Avram who works wonders with his special hammer?

God: Just keep working. I will make you and your flock into the best chiselers east of the Garden of Eden.

After a week of toil, Moses finally (later known as entlich) finished his assignment from God.

Moses: OK, now what do I do with these2 tablets?

God: They are the laws that you and the Israelites will follow. Later I will work on having all of mankind as well follow these same laws. That will be a bigger challenge.

Moses: What if my people break one of your laws? What is their punishment?

God: I will deal with them in the afterlife. You will deal with them in their present life.

So Moses after a long week of chiseling with God came down from Mt Sinai with 2 tablets and 10 laws.

Moses assembled the Israelites and read to them God's laws that they will follow and also declared himself judge of these laws. Moses not only is the lawgiver but also the judge when any of these laws were broken. The Israelites when hearing this became agitated and started shouting at Moses.

Moses: My fellow Israelites; if you all speak at the same time, I cannot understand a word you are trying to say. Whoever will speak for all of you, please step forward.

The Israelites gather together (later known as caucusing) to select their representative to speak to Moses.

Israelite: Moses can we have some time to select our representative? After all, we have tribal protocol that must be followed.

Moses: I'll give you 2 more minutes or the wrath of God will come down upon you (later known as hell, fire, and brimstone).

Jacob (Jack) ben Avram: I've been selected to speak for my fellow Israelites.

Moses: Good, what is on your mind?

Jack: If you are to judge us, we need to be represented in your court by competent speakers (also known as mouthpieces) to defend us.

Moses: Each tribe will select their best speaker who will represent the accused person of that tribe. He will be known as a Legal Warrior (later shortened to lawyer). I will create the rules and procedures to be followed in my courtroom.

Jack: I object!

Moses: I over rule you. Now do you get the picture? I will also appoint legal warriors to argue on behalf of the Israelites (later known as for the people of the State of…) who must be represented in my courtroom. The accused will have the right to be judged by me (juries of his/her peers comes later). If I judge the accused to be guilty, I will determine the appropriate punishment.

Jack: What about an appeal to a higher court (later known as appellate court)?

Moses: The only higher court is the one in the afterlife where God is the judge.

It didn't take long for a trial to be required since the Israelites built a golden calf idol while Moses was on the top of Mt Sinai fulfilling God's commandment. The person accused of masterminding the building was Dathan ben Robin (later to be known as Edward G. Robinson in the movie directed by Cecil ben Mille) when he wasn't sure when Moses would be returning from Mt Sinai.

Upon being arrested, Dathan had to be told of his Schmuel ben Moricai rights (later to be known as Miranda's rights) and was therefore Schmuelized so he could not get off on a technicality. These rights as dictated to Dathan were as follows:

The right to remain silent but if you do: God help you! You have the right to a legal warrior as long as he is part of your tribe…If you have no money, a legal warrior will be appointed from the ACLU(amalgamated chiselers and lawtakers union ) tribe…In the case where Moses cannot reach a verdict( later known as a hung trial) you have the right to plead for your life in front of Moses. Moses then would toss the sacred coin to determine your fate. If it lands Face (later to be known as heads) you might as well put your head between your knees and kiss your butt goodbye. If it lands Backside (later known as tails), you will be paraded around the courtroom 3 times and then taken outside to be pebbled (not as bad as stoning) by a group selected from your tribe.

Moses holds court and is announced prior to walking into the courtroom with a hear yea! hear yea! (later to be known as here comes the judge,here comes the judge). Moses has appointed his brother Aaron as the bialy (later to be known as the bailiff). The job of the bialy is to keep order in the court and to supply the unleavened bread and harosis which was left over after fleeing Pharaoh (later to be known as bialy and cream cheese) for the lunch break.

Aaron now has to announce the following after hear yea hear yea: this court as sanctioned by God located somewhere in the Sinai Desert under the judgeship of my brother Moses is hereby called to order and is officially in session. All rise! (except the unleavened bread bakers) and show respect to the Judge.

Moses after putting on his coat of many colors (later to become black…why?...God only knows) which he inherited from his great great great uncle Joseph takes his seat while Aaron tells the congregants: All Sit!

Moses: OK, we need someone to record the words spoken in case we forget what was said and who said it.

Aaron: I've appointed Joshua ben Scribner to write down all the words spoken. Joshua has a short hand which allows him to write fast. I had him go over to the Walton tribe. They have the best prices on papyrus, ink, and quill pens. I took some gold coins out of your small (later to be called petty) cash fund to pay for it.

Moses: The first case we have is the Israelites against Dathan who is accused of leading a group of non believers to build an idol out of gold to pray to. How do you plead?

Dathan: Not guilty

Moses: Who is your legal warrior representing you?

Dathan: I've appointed Jonathan ben Cochran who will be my speaker.

Moses: Funny, you don't look Israelite. I didn't know we had a Cochran tribe.

Jonathan: My mother is an Israelite and my father is a Nubian prince.

Moses: Sounds good to me so let's begin (later to be known as let's get this show on the road).

Moses: Call your first witness.

Jonathan: I call Dathan ben Robin

Moses: Aaron , administer the oath of truth.

Aaron: Dathan ben Robin, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.

Dathan: Not only on God but also on my golden calf.

Aaron : God will know if you are lying. Not sure about the golden calf. Please be seated.

Jonathan: On what day was the golden calf made?

Dathan: Moses left on Monday to go to Mt Sinai, so it was Wednesday that I had the golden calf made.

Jonathan: Are you sure it was Wednesday?

Dathan: Yes I am sure. Wednesdays my mistress comes to do me and my laundry. On that day I supervised the construction of the golden calf.

Jonathan: No more questions.

Moses: I don't know where you are going with this line of questions and what is has to do with your defense argument. Oh well, Dathan you may step down. Jonathan , you may call your next witness.

Jonathan: I call Moses the lawgiver.

Moses: You want me to be a witness for the defense?

Jonathan: Absolutely!

Moses: No need to administer the oath Aaron since I am the lawgiver. Jonathan, you better know what you are doing or I will hold you in disrespect of court (later to be known as contempt of court).

Jonathan: Oh I know what I am doing. I am the best legal warrior in the Sinai. Now Moses what day did you ascend Mt Sinai?

Moses: Monday

Jonathan: And what day did you come down from the mountain to present the laws to the Israelites?

Moses: the following Monday

Jonathan: Joshua ben Scribner, please read Dathan's words to the court.

Joshua: " Moses left on Monday to go to Mt Sinai, so it was Wednesday that I had the golden calf made". (later known as reading the transcript).

Jonathan: As you can see Moses, the golden calf was made 5 days before you came down from Mt Sinai to present God's laws to the Israelites which reads:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; Do not have any other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Moses: OK OK, I know what I chiseled. And I have the blisters to prove it. So where are you going with this defense?

Jonathan: Moses, your Judgeship, since the idol was made prior to you announcing God's laws to the Israelites, I submit that Dathan was permitted to make the golden calf since there was no law against it at that time. Dathan, therefore should be found not guilty.

Moses: I need a 10 minute break in order to come out with my decision. Aaron, you may serve the unleavened bread and harosis but go easy on the water while I consult with God.

After 10 minutes:

Aaron : all rise for Moses.

Aaron: ok, all sit now.

Moses: Jonathan you are a gifted legal warrior. Dathan please rise. This court finds Dathan not guilty for building the golden calf. However this court finds Dathan guilty of not paying tax on the gold he used to make the idol. His punishment is to melt the idol down and donate the gold to the new Beth Shalom Temple in the Promised Land building fund. Also Dathan will furthermore be required to walk the rest of the way as we find ourselves a path out of the desert to the land promised by God to the Israelites.

Aaron: hear yea, hear yea, this court is now closed for the day.

Later that evening Moses meets with his brother Aaron.

Moses: you disappoint me Aaron

Aaron: What do you mean?

Moses: I saw you dancing around the idol with the other Israelites. From now on I am going to assign Peter ben Clemenza to keep an eye on you so don't let me down.

Aaron: Just please don't kiss me on the lips. Back in Egypt I saw how you kissed Fredoh ben Donvito and the next day he turned up in the Nile eaten by a crocodile.

Aaron: I will not disappoint you again my brother. Moses: I also want you to take charge of the gold from the golden calf and put it in a safe place. And by all means, you are not to invest it with that gonnif Bernie ben Madoff. As soon as we finish pillaging the Moabites, we will hire them to build our new Beth Shalom temple.

Aaron: I always knew Bernie could not be trusted. Hey! Let's put him on trial. No forget that. He would hire the best legal warrior money could buy to get him exonerated.

Moses: I know. God will have to deal with him in the afterlife. Now let's gets some rest. Tomorrow is a busy day.

Next day at court:

All rise…hear yea hear yea…yada yada yada…all sit.

Moses: Aaron, who is next on the docket?

Aaron: The next case involves two women who both claim to be the mother of the same baby.

Woman #1 is called Ruth and woman #2 is called Gloria.

Moses: Who represents them?

Aaron: Micah ben Shapiro represents Ruth and Baruch ben Greenfeig represents Gloria.

Moses: Shapiro? Greenfeig? Aaron, who are all these people? How come I don't recognize any of these names? Do we have more than 12 tribes? How are we going to feed all of them?

Aaron: Moses, I will appoint a committee tomorrow to do a census. I know someone I can put in charge to do the counting. His name is Asher ben Oaktree. He's a little guy, so we call him Acorn.

Moses: Let us dispense with the legal warriors on this case. Where is the baby now?

Aaron: The baby is under the care of the tribal nanny (later called child protective services).

Moses: Please bring me the baby.

Moses than holds the baby up to God and asks God for guidance and wisdom. Both Ruth and Gloria concerned about the baby start to perspire profusely (later called schvitz). Also it happened to be hot that day. After all they are in the desert.

Moses: God has given me the answer.

Moses: Ruth shall have the baby on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Gloria will have the baby on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. On Saturday to respect the Sabbath, both Ruth and Gloria together will take care of the baby. When this child turns 13 and is Bar Mitzvah'd he can decide who he wants to live with.

That way the child will be treated respectfully.

Moses: Let's take a 30 minute recess.

Aaron: OK, everybody out in the hall where you can get fresh unleavened bread and harosis and your ration of water. Today we have 3 kinds of harosis. Mild hot, medium hot, and I can't believe what I am eating hot.

Everyone is now back at court

Aaron: All rise…hear yea hear yea…yada yada yada…all sit.

Moses: OK, who is next up?

Aaron: The next case is the Israelites v Pharaoh Thutmose II (and you all thought it was Ramses)

Moses: What are you talking about Aaron? I thought we escaped from Pharaoh.

Aaron: While you were up on Mt Sinai I dispatched our secret warriors (later called Mossad) to Egypt to capture Pharaoh and bring him to trial. We kept him secure on Mt Gitmoh awaiting his day in court.

Moses: Why didn't you just kill him on Mt Gitmoh. Putting Pharaoh on trial is only going to cause the Israelites to recall their escape and create mind tsoras (later called clinical depression).

Aaron: The Israelites deserve to have their day in court to watch God's justice prevail.

Moses: I hope you Schmuelized him. We can't afford to have Pharaoh walk free on a technicality.

Aaron: All of that was taken care of before bringing him to you.

Moses: Bring in Pharaoh.

Pharaoh is brought in to the court not bedraggled but clean shaven wearing a white linen suit (provided by the brothers Ruben and Joseph ben Brooks from the Tailor tribe.

Moses: Please state your full name for the court.

Pharaoh: My name is Thutmose II son of Thutmose I grandson of Amenhotep I and Pharaoh of Ra's domain. And what is your name?

Moses: Moses son of Amram and Jochebed.

Pharaoh: You used to be Egyptian, what happened to you?

Moses: This trial is not about me but about you. You are being accused of being a farseenisch (monster; later to be called a terrorist). How do you plead?

Pharaoh: Not guilty

Moses: Aaron, who will represent Pharaoh in this trial?

Aaron: I've selected Ari ben Dershovitz to represent Pharaoh

Moses: And who will represent the Israelites?

Aaron: Eliezer ben Holder

Moses: Please rise Eliezer… funny you don't look like an Israelite. I didn't know we had a Holder tribe.

Eliezer: My father is Israelite and my mother is a Nubian princess.

Moses: Where have I heard that before? Are you related to Jonathan ben Cochran.

Eliezer: Johnnie, I mean Jonathan, is my cousin.

Moses: Oy Vey!This should be an interesting trial. Eliezer, call your first witness.

Eliezer: I call Judah ben Ninja one of the secret warriors who captured Pharaoh.

Aaron: Judah ben Ninja do you swear to not bear false witness in this courtroom so help you God.

Judah: If you mean to tell the truth, I do.

Eliezer: When you captured Pharaoh, did he admit that he enslaved the Israelites and later after experiencing 10 plagues, allowed them to leave Egypt and having changed his mind pursued them?

Ari: I object to this testimony on the basis of word of mouth (later called hearsay).

Moses: Overruled, lying in my court is an abomination to God and is punishable by death. Do you understand Judah?

Judah: Moses, you can trust me to tell the truth. Pharaoh admitted to me that he was the Pharaoh who did all of the above.

Eliezer: your witness

Ari: Judah, tell me about how Pharaoh was treated at Mt Gitmoh.

Judah: After Pharaoh was captured and taken to Mt Gitmoh, we followed proper procedure and rules put forth by the Athens convention which Moses agreed to last year.

Ari: Was Pharaoh mistreated at Mt Gitmoh?

Judah: Pharaoh was treated no differently than how the Israelites are treated. When he arrived at Mt Gitmoh we fed him unleavened bread and harosis and a full ration of water.

Ari: So you did not pour water on Pharaoh's head (later known as Chinese water torture)?

Judah: Here in the desert, there is hardly enough water to drink, let alone washing one's face. After Pharaoh ate, we even brought in our famous singer Baruch ben Manilow to entertain Pharaoh. After singing his 15th song, Pharaoh was shown his bed of straw where he would sleep.

Ari: So you claim no cruel and unusual punishment was meted out.

Judah: The only things Pharaoh ended up with were a stomach ache after he ate and a headache after Baruch finished singing.

Ari: Moses, I have no more questions for this witness.

Moses: Judah you may step down and thank you for your service to our nation to be. Eliezer, any other witnesses?

Eliazer: No further witnesses your judgeship. The prosecution needs a lie down (later to be called rests)

Moses: Before we turn this trial over to the defense, this court will take a 2 hour lunch break and allow the prosecution to take a lie down.

Aaron: I have good news for everybody.

Yahudah ben Purdue donated 5 dozen eggs so today we have a treat (later called a nosh) for lunch break. Our kitchen staff made up of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Court will be preparing unleavened bread brei (later to be called matzo bry) for all those in attendance today. Also since we found another source of water, rations will be doubled.

The crowd cheers!

After the lunch break the court is called to order.

Aaron: All rise…hear yea hear yea…yada yada yada…all sit

Moses: Ari , are you ready to proceed?

Ari: The defense calls Pharaoh Thutmose II.

Aaron: Pharaoh Thutmose II, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you RA.

Pharaoh Thutmose II will now be referred to as PTII. This is in response to the RIP (reduction in papyrus) edict issued by Moses upon reaching Mt Sinai.

PTII: As pharaoh, I am dutifully bound to my God Ra who has forbidden me to lie.

Aaron: You're supposed to say "I do".

PTII: I do

Moses: Please be seated.

PTII: How come you get to sit in a more comfortable chair (later to be called LaZBoy) than pharaoh?

Moses: As lawgiver and judge, I get to choose the furniture. Besides my back hurts from all the walking, climbing, and chiseling I've been doing lately. Ari, please proceed with your witness.

Ari: I have here an affa-daa-vide (later to be called an affidavid) signed by you claiming to be the Pharaoh who pursued Moses and the Israelites as they fled from Egypt.

PTII: That is correct. That is my signature and my seal.

Ari: If you admit you are the correct Pharaoh, then you are admitting your guilt in this courtroom. So why are you pleading not guilty?

PTII: Yes I admit I am the one who pursued Moses and the Israelites, but I had a valid motive for my actions. May I ask Moses a question?

Moses: Go right ahead.

PTII: You claim that your God speaks to you and demands you to do things that you don't know why.

Moses: That is correct. Don't you remember the 10 plagues? God only knows how that was done. I was surprised it took all 10 plagues to have you agree to let my people go. You should have stopped at 9 and your son would be alive today.

PTII: Well my God Ra came to me in a dream and told me I made a mistake in letting you and the Israelites go. As a dutiful son to my Father Ra, I was compelled to comply with his wishes. As you are dutiful to your God, I am dutiful to mine.

Eliezer: I object to this line of defense. Pharaoh is trying to play the "deity made me do it "card.

Moses: Overruled! Pharaoh's belief in his God is just as strong as my belief in my God. However, he still has to take responsibility for his actions. He could have waited a few days before starting his pursuit. We would not have needed the parting of the Reed Sea to escape and Pharaoh's warriors would not have drowned when the seas came together.

Moses: Ari, do you have any other questions for Pharaoh or any other witnesses to call?

Ari: No, Pharaoh has defended himself well. The defense would like to take a lie down (later called rests).

Moses: Let's take a 5 minute break and then allow the legal warriors to make their last appeal to me (later called summation).

Aaron: Please stay seated. Sorry, no food or drink during this break. You may leave only to empty your bladder (later called a pee break).

Moses reenters the courtroom.

Aaron: All rise…hear yea hear yea…yada yada yada…all sit

Moses: Eliezer, as the legal warrior representing the Israelites, you have the right to go first to make your final argument (later called last chance to convince the judge)

Eliezer: As the legal warrior representing the people, my job is to argue well enough to get Pharaoh convicted of his crimes against the Israelites. I could have left him to rot in his cave at Mt Gitmoh however I felt that Pharaoh deserved his day in court to tell his side of the story. In the end we must not be afraid of the truth. Under oath, Pharaoh admitted his guilt, but explained his motivation. Moses, you have to judge Pharaoh as to his motivation being justified in committing his crimes. Make no mistake; Pharaoh is guilty of pursuing the Israelites causing undue stress and hardship. He is guilty under the law and must pay for his sins. Thank you for allowing me to argue my case before our illustrious lawgiver and judge (later known as pandering to the judge).

Moses: Ari; it is now your turn to convince me of Pharaoh's innocence.

Ari: Moses, as an Israelite, I am bound by God's laws. I am also Pharaoh's legal warrior and am obligated to provide him with the best defense possible within the guidelines of God's laws. However, Pharaoh needs to be judged on his motivation that led him to pursue the Israelites. His belief in Ra is just as strong as your belief in God and who is to say that Ra and God are not the same. Pharaoh did what his God told him to do and therefore should be judged by Ra and not this court.

The assembly in the court starts to shout epithets like "traitor" and" blasphemy "and "let's get Pharaoh and stone him to death".

Moses began pounding his stone (later to be called a gavel) on the desk to quiet the courtroom.

Moses: Whoever wants to take justice into their own hands will be punished severely. I am the lawgiver and judge and I alone will decide the fate of Pharaoh.

Moses: Ari, thank you for devoting your time to the defense of Pharaoh and thank you for your service to our nation to be. I now need time to make my deliberation and determine the Pharaoh's fate. I also need a lie down. I have a headache from all this shouting. Does anyone have some willow bark (later to be known as aspirin) I can chew on?

Aaron: If anybody is interested, we have some left over unleavened bread brie. We also have some honey to go with it which was donated by Yaakov ben Beekeeper. This court is adjourned until Moses is finished with his deliberation. Let me remind you that you are not allowed to discuss this case with anyone especially not with Reuven ben Murdoch who as you know likes to gossip.

Moses in his bedroom lying on his mattress of many colors.

Moses: Lord, I come to you with a heavy responsibility in determining the fate of Pharaoh. What should I do?

God: I know. I met with my sun Ra who wanted me to advise you to let the Pharaoh go. I do have a solution so go back to bed and I will show you what to do in a dream.

Moses: Please don't make it a nightmare.

Moses awakes with eyes open large and hair standing up on his butt (later to be called wide eyed and bushy tailed).

Moses then looks up to God and says "thanks for your guidance" (later to be known as thanks for the memories). Moses then calls for his brother Aaron to come into his bedroom.

Moses: Aaron, God has helped me in my deliberations and I now have a verdict and solution for what to do with Pharaoh.

Aaron: That's great and by the way you look like you got your old spirit back (later to be known as that old white magic).

Moses: Call the court back into session. Moses is on a rollses!

Back at the courthouse

Aaron: Where is everybody?

Joshua ben Scribner: I think they are waiting on seconds of unleavened bread brie.

Aaron: Well we have to get them back in here. Moses cannot be kept waiting. Do you know someone who can blow the shofar?

Joshua: I have a good friend that is practicing all the time. In fact many a night I can't get to sleep. Didn't God give Moses a law in regard to disturbing the peace? OK. I'll go get him.

Aaron: Please hurry.

5 minutes later.

Joshua: Aaron I want you meet my good friend Levi Mosatch ben Strongarm.

Aaron: Funny you don't look like an Israelite.

Levi: My father is a Nubian prince and my mother is Israelite.

Aaron: do you happen to know Jonathan ben Cochran and Eliezer ben Holder?

Levi: Johnnie, I mean Jonathan is my half brother and Eli, I mean Eliezer is my cousin.

Aaron: Then why aren't you a legal warrior like them?

Levi: I tried but I just couldn't pass the bar without taking a sip of the fruit of the vine. I then joined fruit of the vine anonymous and haven't taken a drink in 10 days. My life is now dedicated to being the best shofar blower east of the Garden of Eden.

Aaron: Good. Get your shofar and blow Assembly so we can get the flock back into the courtroom so we can proceed with the trial.

Levi: OK. Let me first have a little water to wet my high note (later to be known as whistle) and I need a piece of cloth to wipe my brow. I sweat a lot when I start blowing.

Aaron: You can have anything you want. Just start blowing.

Levi blows the shofar and the flock comes running to the courthouse.

One of the flock sees Aaron and says is it Rosh Hashanah already. I must have lost track of time.

Aaron: No it wasn't Tekiah you heard. It was Assembly.

Now get in the courthouse before Moses gets his leg wet (later called pissed).

Aaron: Levi, thank you for your service to our nation to be.

Levi: Does that mean I can become the official shofar blower next Rosh Hashanah?

Aaron: You can blow your shofar anytime. Now wipe the sweat off your brow and come into the courthouse.

All are now assembled in the courthouse.

Aaron: All rise…hear yea hear yea…yada yada yada…all sit.

Moses: Aaron, I heard the shofar. Is it Rosh Hashanah already? I didn't realize how long I slept.

Aaron: No Moses. You did not hear Tekiah. You heard Assembly.

Moses: Let's wrap up this trial. I never did get my unleavened bread brie for lunch.

Aaron whispers to Levi: Go tell the Ladies Auxiliary to whip up a special order of unleavened bread brie for Moses.

Moses: After a long deliberation and consultation with God and oh, by the way Pharaoh, Ra wanted me to say hello to you and also to tell you to keep praying. Will Pharaoh and his legal warrior please stand.

Moses: I have bad news and good news. The bad news is this court finds Pharaoh guilty of his transgressions against the Israelites. The good news is that I've decided to spare Pharaoh's life on one condition which is Egypt must be held accountable for all the years the Israelites were enslaved. I am therefore appointing a group of number movers (later known as accountants) to be headed by Arthur ben Ander (later known as Arthur Anderson) to calculate how much gold and silver Egypt must pay the Israelites (later known as reparations) for all of the years they were enslaved. In return Pharaoh will be set free to go back to Egypt. Upon calculation, I will send my emissaries to Egypt to present our demands to whoever is in charge.

Moses: This court has spoken and is now officially closed until the next case arises. Now where is my willow bark, I still have a headache?

Aaron: All rise. The assembly is now free to go home and prepare proper bread. Every year on the anniversary of this day, you Israelites will remember this occasion by eating unleavened bread brie, honey, and harosis. This court is now closed.

One week goes by and the emissaries have not returned.

On the 12th day Aaron goes to Moses and knocks twice on his door.

Moses: Who's there?

Aaron: Aaron

Moses: Aaron who?

Aaron: Stop playing games and let me in.

Moses: What's the matter Aaron? Can't handle a little humor?

Aaron: Your emissaries have returned and request an audience with you.

Moses: OK, let me check my calendar. How is next Thursday at 3:00 PM?

Aaron: Come on now.

Moses: It was only a joke. Send the emissaries in right away (later known as asap or stat).

The emissaries come in along with Arthur ben Ander.

Moses: It's nice to finally see you. What took so long?

Arthur: Getting to Egypt was no problem. They got lost coming back. I told them to drop unleavened bread crumbs to mark their trail however they ended up eating them.

Moses: So, how did it go?

Emissary 1: Good news , bad news. When we got to Egypt we were taken to Pharaoh's house and introduced to Thutmose III who is the new Pharaoh. Egypt didn't even wait a week before selecting a new Pharaoh.

Moses: So what is the good news?

Emissary1: Thutmose III has agreed to pay in gold and silver all back wages including an extra amount (later called interest) as long as you and the Israelites agree to never set foot in Egypt again.

Moses: So what is the bad news?

Emissary1: Egypt does not want Pharaoh Thutmose II returned. Thutmose III is now in charge and does not want to complicate his authority. Besides, Egypt does not have to build Thutmose II's pyramid and stock it with gold and silver for his afterlife. Giving some of it to the Israelites is a better deal.

Moses: Sounds ok by me however now I have to figure out what to do with Thutmose II.

Moses: Emissaries, you need to gather some ox carts and go back to Egypt to collect our gold and silver.

Emissary1: No need to do that. We told Thutmose III he had to pay us before we would return to you. (later known as COD). The gold and silver is waiting for you outside.

Moses: That is great. Praise the Lord. Now we have more gold and silver that can be used to build the new Beth Shalom Temple in the Promised Land.

Moses: Emissaries, you did well. Thank you for your service to our nation to be.

Aaron: You may now go to the Ladies Auxiliary where they have prepared a meal fit for a Pharaoh, I mean a king, I mean, oh forget it. It's an all you can eat table (later called buffet) so go and enjoy.

Moses: So Aaron, what do we do with Pharaoh?

Aaron: let me bring Pharaoh to you and see what he says.

5 minutes later, Aaron knocks twice on Moses' door.

Moses: Who's there?

Aaron: Aaron

Moses: Aaron who?

Aaron: Enough with your sense of humor. I have Pharaoh here so open the door.

Moses: Come in Pharaoh. My emissaries have returned from Egypt. I have good news and bad news. The good news is Egypt paid the back wages in gold and silver. The bad news is they have a new Pharaoh Thutmose III who doesn't want you to return.

PTII: That sounds just like my cousin Menkheperure (later known as Lenny). As soon as I was gone, he declared himself Pharaoh. If I can just get my hands on him, I'd show him who the rightful Pharaoh is.

Moses: You're life would be in danger if you go back. As leader of the Israelites, I can offer you honorary residency as a friend to the Israelites on one condition.

PTII: What is that condition?

Moses: As you know all newborn male Israelites and converts must undergo a ritual called a bris milah (later referred to as a circumcision) to satisfy his covenant with God. Aaron here is a certified man with very sharp knife (later known as a mohel) and can convert you in as little as 5-10 minutes with minimal pain. In the event of any discomfort, I have some willow bark you can chew on.

PTII: Once I agree, can I become anyone I want?

Moses: Yes, anyone except me. There can only be one Moses. You'll need to change your name from Thutmose II to an Israelite name such as Arnold ben Rothstein (just joking). How about ThutC ben Thut?

PTII: ThutC sounds good to me. What I wish is to study under Ari ben Dershovitz to become a legal warrior like him. Once I pass the bar, I could then bring a lawsuit against my cousin and sue for my rightful inheritance. I always knew the legal pen is mightier than the sword.

Moses: Aaron come here and bring your very sharp knife and some fruit of the vine. We need to get Pharaoh a little wobbly (later called inebriated) so he won't feel much pain. We will also celebrate Pharaoh's new life as the first gentile legal warrior (in training of course).

Moses as we all know did not get to the Promised Land. That apparently was God's decision.

However, every Passover, we should honor Moses as the first lawgiver, judge and also the creator of the legal warrior (later to be called lawyer).

Side note(later known as PS): ThutC ben Thut aka Pharaoh Thutmose II aka PTII after healing from his bris milah went on to study to be a legal warrior under the guidance of Ari ben Dershovitz. He did so well, he was able to live the life of a Pharaoh without the responsibility that went along with that title. In fact he decided not to sue his cousin Lenny and later settled in the Promised Land and became a very famous and wealthy divorce legal warrior.

Side note II (later known as PPS): A movie of this story is in the works. We're not sure who will play the part of Moses since Charlton ben Heston is no longer with us. Who knows? Maybe Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, or Tom Cruise. However, Dustin Hoffman has agreed to play the part of ThutC ben Thut. The part of God will be played by God, God willing. Francis ben Coppola has agreed to be the director as long as matzo bry is available at all hours in the commissary.

Side note III (later known as PPPS): This story is dedicated to my mother Ida daughter of Gittel (aka Kate) whose favorite sayings were "who knew?" and "what do you need it for".

Don Entlich ( lives in Jefferson, Maryland visit his blogspot at


from the January 2010 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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