Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

68
The Shammes Who Became
a Millionaire

TOLD BY BELLA ḤAVIV TO YIFRAḤ ḤAVIV

Once a Jew from Poland came to America with his family. He didn't know English and began looking for work. They offered him a job as the shammes* in a synagogue. To be a shammes there you have to be able to read the notes from people who are asking for charity. But the fellow couldn't read or write English. So they told him, "You're fired."

He went out into the world, did what he did and became a millionaire. One day he went to the bank. "Sign here," the clerk told him.

The Jew replied, "That's no great skill! If I knew how to write, I'd still be the shammes in the synagogue."

*A synagogue caretaker.

-477-

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