The Chelm Project is a pro bono endeavor. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Your support helps balance overly conflict-driven news that warps perceptions of Israel.

Donate in Shekels


Donate in Dollars

Subscribe to our list

Email Format

Join us!

Are you a publisher or literary agent?

Click HERE

Savor Classic Oldies from 1987-2007
Click HERE

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn



A robber walked up to a shawarma stand on Hamasger Street in Tel-Aviv just before midnight.  Instead of demanding the daily take, the hunger-struck young man ordered astonished employees – at gunpoint, to fill a pita with shawarmaslivers of grilled meat from a revolving spit.  When the stunned fast-food jockeys failed to deliver the goods fast enough, the famished but frantic young man began wildly waving his pistol, but to no avail.  Service remained intolerably slow and the food bandit chose to cut and run -  headed for his car and sped away, empty-handed .

            Several hours later a suspect was arrested in the bedroom suburb Kfar Saba and taken into custody for a grilling himself  – still hungry as a bungry.




            According to Jewish tradition, “after the destruction of the Second Temple, prophesy became the providence of fools.” The next real prophets, it is believed, will only appear when the Messiah arrives.   Shmuel Portman Hapartzi, an ardent Chabadnik, is convinced salvation is just around the corner.    

            Fearing people will begin prophesizing on street corners without proper training, Hapartzi has founded the Cain and Abel School for Prophets “to give the young generation of future prophets authorities [and glatt-kosher] sources upon which they can direct their spiritual experiences along the right path.”

            The 10-lecture syllabus includes a course in mastering the right body language, gait and prophetic voice.  A master course in interpretation of dreams included fixing bad ones.  And an introductory course in ‘the wisdom of the angles’ teaches novice prophets how to communicate with such heavenly spirits.

            Tuition costs 200 NIS ($50).  Newly-minted prophets are promised a diploma.  Partzi says he already has ten registered students.



Israel public radio has ‘grammar police’ who shadow all broadcasts and reprimand radio personnel if their language usage on the air isn’t letter perfect. But such purists aren’t the only ones complaining about Hebrew mispronunciation.  After the Ministry of Transportation mandated automated GPS-driven PA systems on public transport that announce all stops, the Hebrew Language Academy was flooded with complaints against bus companies and the Jerusalem Light Rail for ‘slaughtering’ the names of the streets they passed.* The Minister of Transportation ordered the companies to improve their diction.

            Of course that didn’t help passengers at Benyamina – half way between Tel-Aviv and Haifa:  The PA system announced (in perfect Hebrew) that the train to Tel-Aviv would soon be coming into the station, but it didn’t say how soon.  So countless commuters blindly climbed aboard the next train that arrived seconds later on the other side of the platform…and found themselves trapped in an out-of-service train barreling northward  while they yelled their heads off. The train finally stopped in the middle of nowhere, sat for a half hour, then backed into the station.  An accommodating station master mobilized a fleet of taxis to try and save the day for the kidnapped commuters.  


* such as Rechov Ha-Chalutz instead of Rechov He-Chalutz or Echad Ha’am instead of Achad Ha’am Street.



“Congratulations, you have Parkinson’s!” 

            It’s not exactly how doctors currently tell their patients they have a serious neurological disease, but as they say – every curse has a silver lining:  Israeli neurologist  Dr. Rivka Inzelberg from the Sheba Medical Center outside Tel-Aviv is convinced that patients taking a doparmine-stimulating pharmaceutical to control their Parkinson’s symptoms experience a boost of creativity and many begin to draw, sculpt or write poetry although they never had a creative streak in the past.  (Ha’aretz)


* Yiddish for a ‘head’ or ‘brain’




A young women dragged her former significant other into a Tel-Aviv Family Court claiming he was the father of her child. The court ordered a DNA test to establish paternity, and the bench ruled her former boyfriend was the father of her baby girl.

            An open-shut case?  Not exactly.

            Three months after the ruling, in the course of making copies of the brief and the court documents, the newly-proclaimed father’s jaw dropped open when he spied the lab report from the paternity suit which stated conclusively that he wasn’t the father of the child…

            The bench reversed the decision, but Judge Erez Shani ‘took the Fifth’ so to speak, refraining from explaining how he could made such a dumb mistake.

            While relieved that he wouldn’t be paying years of child support for someone else’s offspring, the former parent said he had very mixed feelings about the new verdict: “I already envisioned myself as a father,” he said.

            Now he’s suing the court system for grave negligence that caused him emotional anguish, pain and suffering and grief…which includes the fact that his current girlfriend dumped him when she learned about his ‘new status.’




After inventing a nano-explosive sniffer, Fernando Patolsky, a Tel Aviv University chemistry professor with an inventive streak, came up with a personal, telltale, drinking straw that changes color if a cocktail has been spiked with one of the odorless and tasteless drugs used in drug-facilitated sexual assault – better known as “date rape.” The straw or toothpick – expected to be on the market within a year – can be used repeatedly until ‘wasted’ by reacting with one of the physical- or mind-altering compounds used by aspiring date rapists. Patolsky envisions straws or toothpicks will be sold at bars and not just over the counter at drug stores. (Channel Two TV and The Daily Mail)