Goldie Cohen, an elderly Jewish lady from New York, goes to her travel agent.

‘I vont to go to India,’ she says. (I’m sorry I don’t know whom to attribute this story to, or how to reach Ms. Cohen to verify its accuracy. It has been going around the Internet.)

‘Mrs. Cohen, why India? It’s filthy, much hotter than New York, it’s full of poor, dirty people.’

‘I vont to go to India.’

‘But it’s a long journey, and those trains — how will you manage? What will you eat? The food is too hot and spicy for you. You can’t drink the water.You must not eat fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll get sick: the plague, hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, malaria, G-d only knows. What will you do? Can you imagine the hospital? No Jewish doctors. Why torture yourself?’

‘I vont to go to India.’

The necessary arrangements are made and off she goes. She arrives in India and, undeterred by the noise, smell and crowds, makes her way to an ashram.

There she joins the seemingly never-ending line of people waiting for an audience with the guru. An aide tells her that it will take at least three days of standing in line to see the guru.

‘Dotz OK.’

Eventually she reaches the hallowed portals. There she is told firmly that due to the long lines she can only say SIX words to the guru.


She is ushered into the inner sanctum where the wise guru is seated, ready to bestow spiritual blessings upon his eager initiates. Just before she reaches the holy of holiest she is once again reminded: ‘Remember, just SIX words.’

Unlike the other devotees, she does not prostrate at his feet. She stands directly in front of him, crosses her arms over her chest, fixes her gaze on his, and says:

‘Sheldon, it’s your mother. Come home.’


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