The Shabbat Goy

By Bob Levi, followed by explanatory and helpful conversation.

In a large Florida City, the rabbi developed quite a reputation for his sermons, so much so that everyone in the community came every Shabbat.

Unfortunately, one weekend a member had to visit Long Island for his nephew’s bar mitzvah. But he didn’t want to miss the rabbi’s sermon. So he decided to hire a Shabbat goy to sit in the congregation and tape the sermon so he could listen to it when he returned.

Other congregants saw what was going on, and they also decided to hire Shabbat goys to tape the sermon so they could play golf instead of going to shul. Within a few weeks’ time there were 500 gentiles sitting in shul taping the rabbi.
The rabbi got wise to this. The following Shabbat he, too, hired a Shabbat goy who brought a tape recorder to play his prerecorded sermon to the 500 gentiles in the congregation who dutifully recorded his words on their machines.

Witnesses said this marked the first incidence in history of artificial insermonation.

Stan Kegel responded with the following explanatory and helpful information:


The late Lee Daniel Quinn, who you remember from the debates on what is a shaggy dog story, was the Shabbas goy for an orthodox congregation in his own town, turning the lights off & on, adjusting the air conditioner and doing the other things an observant Jew can’t do on the sabbath. As a result he knew much more about Judaism and its rules and rituals than I can ever hope to learn. Just an interesting aside on someone we both knew and the only Shabbas goy I personally knew.

Bob, I guess I’m one of the few who still uses the Ashkenazi pronunciation and not the Sephartic.

Alan, Ashkenazis or Eastern European Jews use “s”s whereas Sephartic , Middle Eastern and Western European jews use “t”s


Bob Dvorak followed with:

The Shabbat Goy story reminded me of the Philadelphia synagogue where many members were leaving and becoming Quakers. When a member asked the rabbi whether or not he was concerned, the rabbi replied, “It’s no big deal, some of my best Jews are Friends.”

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