Monday, November 5, 2007

The Hat

Once, on a very windy day, a rabbi was on his way to the temple. Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew his fur hat off his head. The rabbi ran after his hat but the wind was so strong it kept blowing his hat farther and farther away. He could not catch up with it. A young man, a gentile, witnessing this event and being more fit than the rabbi, ran after the hat, caught it and handed it over to the rabbi.

The rabbi was so happy and grateful that he gave the man five dollars and put his hand on the man's head and blessed him. The young man was very excited about the tip and the blessing and decided to go to the racetrack and bet his 5 unexpected dollars.

After the races the young man returns home and recounted his very exciting day at the races to his father. "I arrived at the fifth race," said the young man, "looked at the racing program and saw a horse by the name of 'Top Hat' running. The odds on the horse were 100 to 1, the longest shot in the field. Having received the rabbi's blessing and the 5 dollars and thinking of the rabbi's hat and the horse's name being Top Hat, I thought this was a message from God, so I bet the entire 5 dollars on this horse. An amazing thing happened, the horse that was the longest shot in the field and who did not have the slightest chance to even show came in first by 5 lengths."

"You must have made a fortune," said the father.

"Yes, $500, but wait, it gets better," replied the son. "On the following race, I looked at the program. A horse by the name of Stetson was running. The odds on the horse were 30 to 1. Stetson being some kind of hat and again thinking of the rabbi's blessing and his hat, I decided to bet all my winnings on this horse."

"What happened?" asked the excited father.

"The horse Stetson won and I collected big money."

"You mean you brought home all this money?" asked his excited father.

"No," said the son, "I lost it all on the next race. There was a horse in this race named 'Chateau' so I bet all the money on it because the horse was the heavy favorite and the name also means hat in French and it all started with the rabbi's hat. But the horse broke down and came in last."

"Hat in French is 'Chapeau' not 'Chateau' "said the father. "You lost all that money because of your ignorance. Tell me who won the race anyway?"

"A long shot Japanese horse named 'Yamaka.'"

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