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Acting Out

Moishe, a Jewish actor, is so down and out he's ready to take any acting gig that he can find. Finally, he gets a lead -- a classified ad that says, "Actor needed to play an ape."

"I could do that," says Moishe.

To his surprise, the employer turns out to be the Central Park Zoo in New York. Owing to the mismanagement, the zoo has spent so much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat, they can no longer afford to import the ape to replace the recently deceased one, so, until they can, they'll put an actor in an ape suit.

Out of desperation, Moishe takes the offer. At first, his conscience keeps nagging him, that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers. Moishe also feels undignified in the ape suit, stared at by the crowds who watch his every move. But after a few days on the job, he begins to enjoy all the attention and starts to put on a show for all the zoo-goers. Moishe hangs upside down from the branches by his legs, swinging about on the vines, climbing up the cage walls and roaring with all his might, while beating on his chest. Soon, he's drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when Moishe is swinging on the vines to show off to a group of school kids, his hand slips and he goes flying over the fence into the neighboring cage, the lion's den.

Terrified, Moishe backs up as far from the approaching lion as he can, covers his eyes with his paws and prays at the top of his lungs, "Shema Yisrael" Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

The lion opens his powerful jaws and roars the response, "Baruch Shem k'vod malchuto l'olam va-ed." Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.

From a nearby cage, a panda yells, "Shut up you schlemeils, you'll get us all fired!!!"

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