Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
A Holy Toothless Jew

A Russian Jew once struck up a conversation with his seatmate on a bus in Eretz Yisrael, and in the course of the conversation, described himself as a Yom Kippur Jew. His seatmate immediately thought that he meant that he went to shul only once a year on Yom Kippur. However, the Russian Jew explained to his new friend that he was referring to something else.

He was a soldier in the Russian army following WWII. In order to avoid serving on Yom Kippur, every year he would feign illness. Each Yom Kippur, he would show up at the army doctor and moan over his "toothache" and beg to have his tooth pulled. After his tooth was pulled, he was freed from his duties for the rest of the day. The Russian Jew flashed a toothless smile to his seatmate, and said, "I was in the army for six years and I lost six teeth this way, but at least I never worked on Yom Kippur." (Meoros Daf Yomi)