The Jewish Horse
Shmerel wants to borrow a horse from his neighbor, Berel.
"Sure you can borrow my horse," replies Berel. "But one thing you have to know about this horse. He is trained to start when you say 'Baruch Hashem' (thank God), and he stops when you say 'Shema Yisrael.'"
So Shmerel gets on the horse and practices. "Baruch Hashem" he says, and the horse breaks into a trot. "Shema Yisrael" he announces, and sure enough, the horse stops. After practicing a few times, he feels confident and begins his journey.
As he is riding along a road, he sees that the road ends up ahead with a steep cliff. Suddenly Shmerel realizes that he has forgotten the word needed to make the horse stop.
"Ashrei yoshvei vetecha" he squeaks, desperately. The horse keeps going.
"Um - Adon Olam" he intones.
The horse keeps going.
"Eh - Aleinu L'shabeiach."
But the horse keeps galloping.
Now fearful that he is about to die, Shmerel does what any good Jew would do when confronted with certain death. He screams our, "Shema Yisrael." As trained, the horse stops suddenly -- barely two feet from the edge of the cliff.
Shaking like a leaf, Shmerel pulls out his handkerchief and wipes the sweat from his forehead. "Whew" he exclaims, "Baruch Hashem!"