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The Kangerjew

By Tzvi Fishman
11/24/2008, 12:00 AM

For people who are thinking about entering the short story contest, but don’t know how to get started, here’s a sample short story:

Once upon a time, there was a Jew who lived in Australia. He had a nice house, a nice car, a Jewish wife, and Jewish children whom he sent to Jewish schools. He observed the Sabbath, kept kosher, and gave charity on a regular basis. Nearly every day, he clicked onto INN News to see what was happening in Israel. He enjoyed the good life and was grateful to G-d for all the bounty that He had given him.

After his 120 years on earth, when it came time for his soul to rise up to Heaven, he was ready. After all, he had been a good Jew all his life. But when he reached the glowing portals of Gan Eden, the entrance was locked. A Guard stood at the gate, blocking the way.

“Open up,” the Australian Jews demanded.

“Sorry mate,” the Guard answered.

“What do you mean?” the Jew replied dumbfounded. “If anyone deserves to be here, it’s me!”

“Sorry, but you’ve been assigned to another section.”

“Another section? What do you mean?” the Jew wanted to know.

“Follow me, bloke,” the Guard said. “I’ll show you.”

After a short walk, they came to a magnificent pond filled with beautiful swans.

Torah scholars who didn't learn Kabbalah

“What are those swans doing here?” the Jew from Down Under asked.

“Those are Torah scholars who didn’t learn Kabbalah,” the Guard nonchalantly answered, moving along down the path. Soon they came to a jungle-like enclave filled with lions.

“What are those lions?” the Jews inquired.

“Those are Jews who didn’t eat kosher meat,” the Guard informed him.

Cheesburger eaters

The Jew from Australia was speechless. Could it really be, he thought?

Another short walk away was a field filled with dogs.

“These are Jews who slept with shicksas,” the Guard told him, even before he asked.

“Oy vay,” the Jew groaned. “How long do they have to be here like this?”

Jews who chased after shicksas

“Only a few thousand years,” the Guard answered.

Next was a large aviary filled with wide-eyed owls.

"These are people who looked at forbidden sites on the Internet," the Guard related.

“I’ve seen enough,” the Jew told him.

“Up here you need patience,” the Guard answered. “Here’s where you’re going to be.”

Spreading out before them was a vast wilderness outback populated with kangaroos.

Jews who prefered to live in Australia

“No,” the Jew pleaded. “Please, not that.”

“That’s your sentence, mate.”

“But why? I was a good Jew. I kept kosher. My wife’s Jewish. I sent my kids to Jewish schools.”

“In Israel?” the Guard asked.

“In Australia.”

"You answered your own question," the Guard said.

“But what great sin did I do?”

“You despised the cherished Land.”

“But I love Israel!” the Jew insisted.

“Tell it to the Judge,” the Guard replied, walking away. “You preferred living in the land of the kangaroos while you were alive, so now you are being rewarded with another few thousand years as a kangaroo.”

Without further ado, the Guard raised his hand, and POOF, the good Jew from Australia turned into a kangaroo.

“But no one warned me!” the kangaroo protested.

“Fishman warned you,” the Guard answered. “It’s all been recorded. I can show you your talkbacks if you like. Up here, everyone gets exactly what they deserve. Enjoy your reward, mate."

"What am I supposed to do for such a long time?" the kangaroo cried out.

 The Guard shrugged. It wasn't his problem. "To pass the time," he  called back to the kangerjew, "Learn how to rock on your tail.”   

The Kangerjew 

(Click here for short story contest details)