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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Believers in the Foxhole

A Jew is down on his luck in Ancient Rome. He answers a "Help Wanted" ad from the Roman Coliseum – the resident grizzly bear died and on the program is a fight to the death between a grizzly bear and a lion. They have the bear skin and the job is to dress up as the bear and fight the lion. Well, the Jew isn't exactly thrilled by the job but he is offered 1,000 gold Drachmas paid in advance which his family is in desperate need of. So, he agrees, gets the money, gives it to his wife, and goes to work.

They dress him up to perfection, and the game producer gives him some last minute instructions. "Animals don't rush out of their pens. They sniff around and then take a few steps and moving slowly to the center of the ring, eye their opponent and then, with a snarl, jump on each other. To help you, we will have a slow count that you can hear 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – by three you should be in the center of the ring. By one, you attack."

They open the cage. He goes out, sniffs around. 9 – 8 – he ambles around. 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 he's in center ring. He sees the lion right in front of him. He is sure he is going to die and he yells, "SHEMA YISRAEL!"

The lion answers, "Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad!"

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