Friday, November 18, 2016

Life's pop quizzes

Vayera 5777

Over the years, students have tried their luck with entertaining answers to exam questions in order to appeal to their teachers’ funny side. I found a website with some hilariously wrong answers.  Here are some of my favorites:

What is a fibula?-a little lie.

Explain the phrase “free press.”-When your mum irons trousers for you.

Joanna works in an office.  Her computer is a stand-alone system. What is a stand-alone computer system?-It doesn’t come with a chair.

Steve is driving his car. He is traveling 60 feet/second and the speed limit is 40 mph. Is Steve speeding?-He could check his speedometer.

Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?-At the bottom.
Briefly explain hard water.-ice

This week's Torah portion ends with the Binding of Isaac. The story begins “יְהִ֗י אַחַר֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְהָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים נִסָּ֖ה אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם Sometime afterward, God put Abraham to the test.” According to the Rabbis in the Mishnah God tested Abraham not once, not twice, and not even thrice, but 10 times! In this parasha alone, we read about the last 4 culminating with the near sacrifice of Isaac.

I don't know about Sam, but if he is anything like me when I was his age, I hated pop quizzes. As I have grown older and have been out of school for a long time, I've realized pop quizzes are not a thing of the past. Life tests us all the time. The results of these tests teach us much about our character strengths and weaknesses.

Exams in school tests our honesty. Do we cheat if the occasion arises and we know we won't get caught?

Passing the homeless and hungry on the street tests our compassion.

Returning a wallet full of cash or returning too much change to the cashier tests our integrity.

Standing up to a bully tests our character.

Facing long odds tests our resolve.

Being married tests our fidelity.

Having children tests our patience. 

Responding to the fears and needs of others tests our sympathy and empathy.
The words we choose tests our truthfulness.

Thinking about we have and what we're missing tests our gratitude

Every moment in a policeman's or a fireman's life tests his determination to serve and protect.

Every moment in a soldier's life on the battlefield tests his courage under fire.
Growing old tests how we age gracefully.

Failing these tests won't stop you from being admitted into medical school, law school, or business school and even prevent you becoming President of the United States, but the results will determine what kind of doctor, lawyer, business man, and human being you are. Are you a person people trust, admire, and appreciate? Are you a caring decent kind person? Are you understanding and tolerant of differences and show compassion to those who have disabilities? In other words, are you a mench?

Your answers to life’s pop quizzes will determine how you will be remembered long after you stopped walking on this earth. Will you be like Abraham, who passed all his tests with flying colors, as a blessing to his family to his people and to all humankind? I hope so.

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