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One traditional question Jewish children ask their father as part of the Passover dinner is "Ma Nishtana ha lei la haze," "Why is this NIGHT different than any other NIGHT." Dad then recounts the story of the Exodus.


Comedian George Burns, who was Jewish, tells this joke:


During one of my many trips to London, I became friends with a very wealthy, yet very modest, Jewish chap named Hyman Goldfarb. On one visit, Hy told me that because of his large donations to charities through the years, the queen wanted to knight him, but

he was going to turn it down.


"That’s a great honor," I said. "Why would you turn it down?"


"Because during the ceremony you have to say something in Latin," he said. "And I don’t wish to bother studying Latin just for that."


"So say something in Hebrew. The queen wouldn’t know the difference."


"Brilliant," Hy complimented me, "but what should I say?"


"Remember that question the son asks the father on the first night of Passover? ... Can you say that in Hebrew?"


"Of course," he said. "Ma nishtana ha leila hazeh. Thank you, old sport, I shall become a knight."


At the ceremony Hy waited his turn while several of the otherhonorees went before the queen. Finally they called his name. He knelt before Her Majesty, she placed her sword on one shoulder and then on the other, and motioned for Hy to speak.


Out came "Ma nishtana ha leila hazeh."


The queen turned to her husband and said, "Why is this knight different from all other knights?"

[source: humormatters.com/holidays/passover.htm]


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