There once were two evil brothers. They were rich and used their
money to keep their evil ways from the public eye. They attended the same
temple, and to everyone else, they appeared to be perfect Jews.
One day, their rabbi retired and a new one was hired. Not only could the
new rabbi see right through the brothers' deceptions, but he also spoke
well and true about it. Due to the rabbi's honesty and integrity, the
temple's membership grew in numbers. Eventually, a fundraising campaign
was started to build a much bigger temple.
All of a sudden, one of the brothers died. The remaining brother sought
out the new rabbi the day before the funeral and handed him a check for
the amount needed to complete the new building. He held the check for
the rabbi to see.
"I have only one condition," he said. "At the funeral, you must say my
brother was a mensch. You must say those exact words."
After some thought, the rabbi gave his word and took the check. He
cashed it immediately. At the funeral the next day, however, the rabbi
did not hold back. "He was an evil man," he said about the dead brother.
"He cheated on his wife and abused his family. Never once did he commit
an unselfish act." He railed on and on about the deceased.
After nearly a half hour of the evil truth, the rabbi paused and
shrugged his shoulders. Finally, he said, "But compared to his brother,
he was a mensch."