The cop, the rabbi and the dog

Did you hear the one about the Montana cop, the rabbi and the dog who speaks Hebrew?

Eric Stern describes what happens next:

In Montana, a rabbi is an unusual sight. So when a Hasidic one walked into the State Capitol last December, with his long beard, black hat and long black coat, a police officer grabbed his bomb-sniffing German shepherd and went to ask the exotic visitor a few questions….

…Hanukkah has a special significance in Montana these days. In Billings in 1993, vandals broke windows in homes that were displaying menorahs. In a response organized by local church leaders, more than 10,000 of the city’s residents and shopkeepers put make-shift menorahs in their own windows, to protect the city’s three dozen or so Jewish families. The vandalism stopped….

…The menorah was lighted and Hebrew prayers chanted, while the officer watched from a distance with his dog. He figured he would let it all go down and then move in when the ceremony was done. The dog sat at attention, watching the ceremony with a peculiar expression on its face, a look of intense interest. When the ceremony was over, the officer approached the Hasidic rabbi.

“I’m Officer John Fosket of the Helena Police,” he said. “This is Miky, our security dog. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

Miky (pronounced Mikey) is a surplus police dog trained by the Israel Defense Force to sniff for explosives and was purchased by the State of Montana for the price of a plane ticket and a crate. Fosket was handed a card with phrases like like “Hi’ sha’ er” (stay!), Ch’pess (search!), and “Kelev tov” (good doggy)” but all too often Miky would stare at Fosket waiting for a command that made sense.

But with the help of Rabbi Chaim Bruk, Officer Fosket has learned to pronounce the tricky Israeli “ch” sound, and Miky has become a top dog, even working with the Secret Service when the President came to town.

“So all is well in the Jewish community here,” Stern says. “Because the Hasidic rabbi is helping the Montana cop speak Hebrew to his dog.”

Read the rest here.

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