Are You Smarter Than A Rabbi? Part I

The almost seven-year-old hit me with a new series of questions today. I love it. I love his interest in the world around him and how it forces me to constantly think about what I believe and why and how to best explain things to him.

Sometimes the answers to these questions spur new questions or simple spin-offs about the original ones. And let’s not forget how simple comments can lead to all sorts of new stuff.

You’ll recall that in an earlier post I recounted his curiosity about body parts and whether they ever stop growing. I did my best to answer his questions without providing too much information. He doesn’t always need to know how to build a watch, sometimes it is enough to just tell him the time.

Anyhoo, today we revisited a topic that I think is important. How to pee in a public restroom. As alluded to in previous posts there is an art to this and since most preschool teachers are female it is not being passed along as well as it should be. This really should be a separate post, but in the interest of space I’ll try to condense it.

It seems that some people teach the boys to pull their pants well below their groin. It makes sense as if the rookies will often inadvertently urinate on their clothes. However, they will eventually be in a public restroom where it is not smart for little boys or big boys for that matter to stand at a urinal with their pal in their hand and their pants around their ankles.

I have spent a lot of time explaining to my son why he needs to learn how to take care of his business in a fashion that doesn’t require following the aforementioned ritual. Earlier today I learned that he has paid attention to our discussions about this as well as the one from the earlier post.

While running errands he told me that he needed to make a stop so off we went. I drank three cups of coffee so the timing was good for me too. Once inside we waited for a free urinal. He went first.

Son: Dad, It worked.
Dad: What worked?

Son: I peed with just one hand.
Dad: That is good.

Son: I can do it with no hands. Want to see?
Dad: You shouldn’t do it that way. You might pee all over everything.

Son: I know. I wanted to see if you remembered.
Dad: What if I had forgotten.

Son: I would have reminded you.
Dad: That is good.

Son: Can girls sit and pee in a urinal?
Dad: They could, but I don’t think that they’d like it.

Son: They must be so jealous that they don’t have a penis. (His words, not mine.)
Dad: You might be right.

Son: I am going to tell mom that you said she wishes she had a penis.
Dad: I’d rather you don’t.

Son: Why?
Dad: Because I didn’t say that.

Son: Why didn’t G-d give girls a penis?
Dad: That is a good question. I’ll have to think about it for a moment.

Son: Do you think that the rabbi would know?
Dad: I think that I can give you an answer that is just as good as the rabbi.

Son: Are you smarter than a rabbi?
Dad: Well it depends on what we are talking about. Different people know different things.

Son: Yeah, and you know more about a penis than the rabbi does.
Dad: Not always. Do you remember what a mohel does?

Son: Is the man that cuts your penis in half?
Dad: He doesn’t cut your penis in half.

Son: If your penis kept growing forever it wouldn’t matter if he did.
Dad: That is true, but we know that doesn’t happen.

Son: I still want to know if you are smarter than a rabbi?
Dad: Why do you want to know?

Son: Because I already know that you are stronger than the rabbi. You could beat him up.
Dad: Why would I want to do that.

Son: Well when I was a baby he might have cut off all of my penis and then I’d be like a girl. Could that really happen?
Dad: No, that wouldn’t happen. And for what it is worth your mohel is a urologist. That means he is a doctor who is an expert on penises. He did your cousin’s bris. Do you remember?

Son: Yes. His mommy kept crying.
Dad: She didn’t cry the whole time.

Son: She is your little sister, right?
Dad: Yes, she is.

Son: Did you make her cry?
Dad: When?

Son: When you were kids. Sometimes I make my sister cry.
Dad: No, I didn’t make her cry and you shouldn’t make your sister cry either. (Ok, so I stretched the truth a little. It is a shalom bayit thing.)

Son: Dad, when you peed it was really noisy.
Dad: I guess that I really had to go.

Son: Remember I told you that it would be better if our penises were bigger because we wouldn’t have to stand so close to the urinal.
Dad: I remember.

Son: When you pee that hard you can splash yourself.
Dad: Did I? (looking down and not seeing any spots on my pants.)

Son: No, but that guy in the black suit did.
Dad: It is not nice to point.

Son: He looks like the rabbi. Do you think that you are smarter than him?
Dad: I think that we need to finish washing our hands so that we can finish running our errands.

Stay tuned for part two.

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  1. God December 21, 2007 at 1:41 am

    Because I told her so, and I would know.
    By the way, I like your column. You can use that for publicity if you like.

  2. Jack's Shack December 20, 2007 at 8:36 am


    Why am I not surprised. 🙂

    G-d is not male or female – maybe both or all, but

    And how do you know this?

  3. GT December 20, 2007 at 6:07 am

    G-d gave females a vulva, vagina and clitoris that they are happy with.

    And while we’re at it, let’s throw in this bit of info:
    G-d is not male or female – maybe both or all, but not just one, not binary.

  4. Ezzie December 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I’m going to agree on twisted. 😛

  5. Jack's Shack December 19, 2007 at 6:17 am


    We’re twisted folk. 😉

  6. Shelli December 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    like a twisted winnie the pooh and christoper robin conversation.

    Love it.

  7. Jack's Shack December 18, 2007 at 6:21 am


    I’ll let him know.


    I’d better give Avrech a call.




    Good question.


    You mean girls have brains. 😉

  8. The Babka Nosher December 18, 2007 at 3:34 am

    Did you have trouble typing that exchange? I would have. My hands would have been shaking with laughter! You should explain to him that girls about jealous not to have a penis because we prefer having all our brains in one place…

  9. BarbaraFromCalifornia December 17, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Ok..Here is the quintessential question: Is the Rabbi smarter than the 5th grader?

    Hope everyone is well, and healthy.

  10. Miriam L December 17, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    “Yeah, and you know more about a penis than the rabbi does.”


  11. cruisin-mom December 17, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    that is just too sweet. Should be in a movie.

  12. Kol Ra'ash Gadol December 17, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Tell him that I told you that girls aren’t jealous not to have a penis, because all out parts are neatly tucked away where they can’t get hurt. And I’m a rabbi, so I can be smart about some things like that.
    bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah! [rofluIwm]

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