The Silly World of Chelm and The Man in the Plastic Bag

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Once upon a time in the silly world of Chelm, Shepsel Cohen, the town barber wanted to visit his relatives in Minsk. However, poor Shepsel needed to buy them a gift and didn’t know what to get them. He also found out that the only train ride from Chelm to Minsk travelled through a graveyard. Since Shepsel was a Cohen, this presented a problem as he wasn’t allowed to attract any graveyard impurities. What was he to do?

And so he made his way to see the wise Sage of Chelm. The old Sage looked at everything and said, “It’s simple. Wrap yourself up in a plastic bag and travel like that the whole way.”

“Wrap myself in a plastic bag? Why?” asked the startled Shepsel.

“You don’t have a gift for your relatives and you are travelling through a graveyard. By wrapping yourself in a bag you not only save yourself from the graveyard impurities, and arrive giftwrapped for your relatives to open!” replied the Sage.

Shepsel gaped in amazement. What foresight! What wisdom!

And so, boys and girls, the next time you see a man from Chelm travelling in a plastic bag, remember that he’s likely a Cohen that forgot to get his relatives a gift for when he visits them.