Azamra For Everyone

TOP POSTS ON AZAMRA

Self-Transformation with Azamra!

Know! You must judge all people favorably. Even in the case of a complete rasha, you must search until you find some modicum of good in him, the part that is not evil! By finding this small drop of good and judging him favorably, you are genuinely able to lift him to the place where he has some merit and this enables him to return to his true, good self. –Likutey Moharan, 282 (Azamra)

Azamra is a foundational Breslov lesson. In it, we learn to seek out and acknowledge the good points within ourselves, no matter how negligible they might appear. By doing this, we strengthen our ability to grow spiritually.  We also learn how the Tzaddik is able to find and shepherd people towards true spiritual achievement.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov first begins this foundational lesson, however, by teaching us that we should look for the good in others. Why?

If we remember the Rebbe’s finely-tuned understanding of human nature, we might be able to recognize one of the reasons he tells us to focus outwards, first.

Haters

The urban-slang word “hater” is so abused that it has come to mean “anyone who disagrees with me.”

Want to slam someone whose views you disagree with? Accuse her of being a hater.

Want to increase suspicion and distrust of your foe? Label him a hater.

In other words, if you have negative feelings about someone, what’s the easiest way to dodge acknowledging your own feelings? Accuse the person you hate of being a hater.

And if you’re jealous of someone, or angry with someone, accuse them of jealousy or anger. And so on.

Hiding from uncomfortable feelings by accusing the object of your scorn of having the negative feelings you (secretly) harbor is called projection. Though the term may have been coined by Freud, the concept has existed nearly forever, and got its start in the Garden of Eden. The serpent accused Hashem of lying to Eve about what would really happen if she ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Of course, the serpent was the one who was lying.

Transformation

The Rebbe begins Azamra with an implicit truism: People tend to judge others harshly. But the Rebbe asks us to not give into our natural inclination and instead, urges us to judge others favorably. We must, says the Rebbe, make a real attempt to discover something, anything, good about our fellows.

We should be rigorous in pursuing this and ask, “Is it possible that throughout his or her life, this person has never done a mitzvah or good deed? “

We learn that this process—asking questions, thinking about the good things this person might have done and judging him favorably—actually brings about a transformation, so much so that the person we might have easily found fault with, is no longer totally guilty. When we think about, and thereby unveil his good points, this person is now able to transition towards pursuing even more goodness.

This important meme of the Rebbe—the power of our thoughts as an agent of change—applies, most importantly, to ourselves. Not only does someone else metamorphose when we begin to think about and judge him favorably; we too, are capable of focusing on the good and becoming who we think we are.

After the initial shock of recognition has faded, and we realize that all those horrible things we see in other people are really a projection of our own faults, ones that perhaps we find too painful to address, we are able to use the same skills the Rebbe has just taught us and seek out and find the good points in ourselves. We must also ask of ourselves, “…how is it possible that throughout my life I never once did some mitzvah or good deed?”

It’s easier to look outwards, first. Start by finding the good points in others, despite glaring negatives. Even better, don’t notice the negatives at all. Also remember that if you judge your fellow favorably, Hashem judges you favorably. And, if you have the skills to find the good in others, you’ll be able to find it in yourself, too.

Azamra: Judging Others

Know and Understand!

A person must judge everyone favorably. Even if someone is completely bad, it is necessary to search and find in him some modicum of good; the little bit of him that is not wicked. And by finding in him a drop of good and judging him favorably, one brings him to return to the true path of his Jewish soul. —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Moharan, 282

Azamra, as Likutey Moharan 282 is known, is a foundational teaching of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, one so life-changing, that Breslovers learn it over and over again, often throughout their lives. But, you don’t have to be an avowed Breslover to benefit from the incredible powerful message of this soul-stirring lesson.

Learning and inculcating the powerful lesson of Azamra is best done over time, as lasting change is built layer by layer. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Rebbe Nachman of Breslov reminds us: A little bit is also good. The way to grow is to not worry about perfection—simply start moving a little bit beyond where you were a moment ago.

In this new series, we’ll explore Azamra bit by bit, and we’ll include snippets of stimulating conversations from group classes as well as discussions with one-on-one learning-partners on the topic.

Know

Whenever Rebbe Nachman says “Da” (the first word of Azamra), which can be translated as know or understand, it’s a signal for us to pay attention. Of course, it’s generally a good idea to pay attention when learning something, but this little extra tidbit of a word is like a flashing light telling us: Now you’re really going to hear something amazing. And, if you let it, it will open a door to a completely new understanding of yourself and move you closer to discovering and achieving your life mission.

Whenever I see the word “Da” I think to myself: Okay, buckle-up, the soul roller coaster is about to start.

Is It Okay To Pass Judgment On Others?

The Rebbe begins Azamra with a focus on other people, even though as the lesson progresses, we’ll find a large part part of it is about focusing on yourself. But the Rebbe starts by introducing us to the Jewish way to think about others and uses the term dan lchaf zchut, which is commonly translated as giving someone “the benefit of the doubt.”  A more literal and less passive translation is to judge others favorably, judge them on the side of merit.

Judging others favorably doesn’t mean we should naively suspend critical (clear) thinking, or give approval of others’ harmful acts. What it does mean is that we should actively use our innate powers of judgment in order to actuallysee the good in someone, thereby rendering ourselves capable of giving an authentic (yet discerning) positive judgment.

What does it mean to judge? It means to weigh the evidence—which is why the iconic image for justice is a scale. The Rebbe tells us that even if we see someone do something pretty rotten (even if he does it to us), we must seek evidence of this person’s good points, so we can judge him positively. That positive point must, in our eyes, outweigh the negative.

Questions

Shouldn’t we trust our own senses: If we see clearly that someone is evil*, how can we pretend otherwise?

Doesn’t Judaism teach us (and common sense tell us) that it’s dangerous to ignore evil or give wickedness a pass, as this gives them permission to do even more evil?

Finally, what does it mean that when we judge someone favorably in our minds and hearts, we genuinely elevate him to the side of merit and cause him to mend his ways? How is this possible? How can our thoughts bring about such a huge change in reality?

We’ll discuss the answers in the next Azamra post.

*We’re not talking about an annoying boss or noisy neighbor here—although we will later on—we’re talking about a person who really appears to embrace the dark side.

Azamra: See No Evil?

In the previous Azamra post, the Rebbe tells us that it’s a requirement—not an option—that we judge others favorably. We learn that when we do, we can literally change them from dark to light, from meritless to meritorious.

At the end of the last post, we posted questions from students (paraphrased). We’ll try answering these and others:

Shouldn’t we trust our own senses? If we see clearly that someone is evil, how can we pretend otherwise?

and

Doesn’t Judaism teach us (and common sense tell us) that it’s dangerous to ignore evil or give wickedness a pass, as this gives permission to do even more evil?

We cannot pretend evil doesn’t exist—it does. And, it’s true that it’s dangerous to ignore evil. Throughout the ages, Jewish scholars have discussed this topic in great depth and we have many clear guidelines. Violent criminals and utter evil are not, however, what the average person has to deal with when learning Azamra. We know to never give a pass to someone who is harming someone else.*

Finding the good point in others and condemning genuine evil, however, are not mutually exclusive propositions. In fact, true good often sits quietly behind not-good, waiting to be rescued and brought into the spotlight. Evil’s quite the attention-hog.

Is evil necessary?

There are many Kabbalistic reasons for the existence of evil, the simplest being that because it contrasts with the good, it enables us to make a choice. This choice is actually necessary for our life mission. With evil, free-will exists. Without it, we may as well be programmed robots.

What does it mean that when we judge someone favorably in our minds and hearts, we genuinely elevate him to the side of merit and cause him to mend his ways? How is this possible? How can our thoughts bring about such a huge change in reality?

It’s very nice to have forgiving, generous thoughts. But Rebbe Nachman tells us that our thoughts are more than reflections of our own inner experience, they are actually functional powerhouses, capable of changing reality. Thoughts are comparable to, and in some ways more forceful than, physical actions.

How is this possible?

The holy Zohar teaches us the Jewish people are one. It’s not just a slogan. We each possess an individual soul, but we know that our unique soul is part of a larger root soul, and that root soul is part of a dynamic Jewish mega-soul.

Imagine a giant coral or the Oregon honey fungus. Each of these organisms is one massive living being. Yet, each exhibits some form of individual, intelligent expression.

Each of us is absolutely an individual. Talmud alludes to the fact that each life is an entire world!

Yet, we are deeply, indivisibly connected. When the toe of our collective soul is stubbed, we all feel the psycho-spiritual pain. This phenomenon might explain why when we hear in the news about a Jew who does a good deed, we feel pride in that Jew’s accomplishments, whether we know him or not. The converse is also true. The shame we feel when a Jew commits a crime feels like an utterly personal shame. This isn’t a mere familial sensibility—it’s more.

Power of Your Thoughts

We acknowledge that our own thoughts have tremendous power, as indicated in the expression, “a self-fulfilling prophecy”. But their reach is far more than just the “power of positive thinking.”

Rebbe Nachman says quite a bit about the power of our thoughts:

Man’s mind is his very essence. Wherever your thoughts are, that is where you are – all of you.

Guard your thoughts very carefully, because thought can literally create a living thing.

And of course, there’s the old Yiddish saying: Think good and it will be good.

Although the Zohar does give us some insights into the importance of our cognition, we are not capable of completely codifying the metaphysical mechanism by which thought changes our world. After all, thought is the most sublime, least material, function we perform. Still, the Rebbe assures us that by identifying that bit of goodness in another, having a positive thought about him, we do indeed lift him or her from the state of ra to tov, bad to good.

The Rebbe explains that when we kick something with our foot, it can go so far and so high. When we throw it with our hand, it can go higher still. We can hear things even farther away, such as a gunshot. And with our eyes, we can see farther still—we can see the sun, moon, and stars. But our thoughts, says the Rebbe, are our highest, most sublime faculty, reaching all the way to the Heavens. Our thoughts can change the world.

Next Time

Why are we asked to make a judgment at all, positive or negative? Why does HS arrange for us to “stand in judgment” of each other?

Uh, oh. I now realize that I pretty much condemn others all the time—kind of like a negative tape loop running in my brain. What can I do to stop?

*If a person qualifies as a rodef, a pursuer of life (attempted murderer) we do not pause to look for the good in him. We are required to rescue the victim and do what it takes to stop the rodef. What about when the situation is not so clear cut? For example, what if a rodef is trying to harm someone else on a spiritual level? What are our obligations then? In situations like this, if it seems unclear, we ask a Rav. If a Rav isn’t available, we keep in mind and do our best to protect a soul as we would a body.

Azamra: The 7 Habits of Highly Connective People

We’ll continue with two questions from the last post:

Why are we asked to make a judgment at all, positive or negative, about others? Why does Hashem arrange for us to “stand in judgment” of each other?

Rebbe Nachman tells us that everything that we see, hear, and experience as we live each day contributes to our spiritual growth. What we see or hear concerning other people is no exception.

The holy Baal Shem Tov said that, “Before a Heavenly decree is passed against a person, the person himself whom the decree concerns is asked about it.”*

If the person who is facing the Heavenly judgment agrees with the Heavenly court that the decree should be passed—it is passed. In other words, our own “ruling” determines what happens; our own judgment about our actions decides the consequences we must face.

But Nobody Asked Me. Or Did They?

Now, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t recall ever being asked for your opinions about these lofty proceedings. But, says the Baal Shem Tov, though you may not be aware of this adjudication, you have indeed been asked.

Every time you are given the opportunity to pass judgment on another, know that it is actually your own actions you are judging. The other person’s actions might be obviously similar to your own, or they may be related in ways you find difficult to fathom. You might read about them in the newspaper, you might hear about them from a friend, or you might be a witness.

You may feel annoyed, upset, or angry with the person or you may simply feel an urge to condemn them. If you do, you condemn yourself in the chambers of the Heavenly Courts, says Chassidus. However, if you are able to squelch the desire to adjudge, attack, or accuse; if you reach deep into your heart to be dan l’chaf zchut; if you are able to turn away from the negative and seek and find only the good points in that person, then the positive judgment you pass is on yourself.

We instinctively know this to be true, which is why we admire non-judgmental people, people who are accepting of others, people who are able to see the good in others. On the other hand, those who give into their urge to pass sentence on others, tend to be really hard on themselves, if not openly, at least deep down inside. Arrogance or hypocrisy are often covering up real fear or shame.

Uh, oh. I now realize that I pretty much condemn others all the time—kind of like a negative tape loop running in my brain. What can I do to stop?

It sometimes feels like it isn’t possible to look for the good in others, it requires too much effort. Expressing negative judgment, whether through open condemnation or snide remarks, can easily become habitual. (After all, snarkyism is everyday fare in the predominant cultural media.) Besides, even if we manage to control our mouths, we might really harbor hatred in our minds and hearts.

Let’s say we’re good to go—we can give our fellows a pass. Still, it’s possible to feel able to give a pass to everyone except one particular person.  You know who he (or she) is.  You think, “Okay, I can look for the good in everybody, except fill-in-the-blank. They are simply too… annoying, disgusting, haughty, rude, unkind, etc. No one could find anything good about them.”

Remember, that one person is US. If we pass judgment, it’s still our court case, our decree. We might possibly be forfeiting our own acquittal.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Connective People

In Balak, this week’s parsha, the evil Bilam’s attempt to curse the Jews turns into a blessing despite his unwilling mouth. He says, “…He (Hashem) does not look at wrongdoing in Yaacov or vice in Israel.” If Bilam can bless, certainly, so can we.

HaShem Himself is intent on constantly looking for our good, and Hashem is our greatest role model. In fact, one of the reasons why Hashem reveals His particular actions to us throughout the Torah is in order for us to emulate them. Not for His sake, however, but for our own, the sake of our personal growth.

Of course, we’re limited—we’re human. And sometimes it can feel like the hardest battle on earth to see the good in a fellow Jew for whom we have negative feelings. But we can train ourselves by stopping hateful the tape loop.

Any habit can be broken—or even better, replaced by a healthy habit. In this case, remembering that we are all connected in ways we can only begin to appreciate, helps.

1. It’s usually easiest to begin by practicing with someone who doesn’t push your buttons so much—someone you don’t know personally, perhaps, such as a political figure or other person in the news, or maybe a friend of a friend. Think about someone distant from you, someone who you have a negative opinion of.

2. Remind yourself that unlike Hashem, Who is able to see the good inside each of us, we aren’t omnipotent. We are bound by time and space. Therefore, it is completely impossible for us to know every thought or feeling another person has had or every action he has done. We are judging the person as he is in only one moment of time.

There are 52,560,000 minutes in one hundred years (assuming your “villain” lives a nice, long life). Your odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are about one in three thousand. You have a far greater chance of being struck by lightning than knowing what is going on in another person’s heart the other 52,559,999 minutes of his life.

3. Ask yourself, would you want to be judged on the few minutes in your life where you personally failed? Or would you rather be judged on the other millions of minutes where you succeeded in being the kind, honest, generous person you truly are?

4. Once you’ve mastered the ability to be dan l’chaf zchut a stranger, then you can progress thinking kindly of a colleague, maybe someone in another office you don’t run into too often. Then your workmate. Even your boss.

5. Practice finding the good points in your noisy neighbor. Your enemy. Your friend. Actually list the good points, silently, verbally, or even in writing.

6. What about those closest to you? Are you able to ignore their irritating habits? What about the past hurts? Practice on your parent. Your sibling. Your spouse. Your child.

7. Once you’ve mastered the art of being dan l’chaf zchut, of giving benefit of the doubt for others and finding their good points, don’t forget to do the same for yourself. Remind yourself of all the good deeds you’ve done, your generosity, the effort you make to help another.

If you can’t recall grand good deeds, think of all the little ones. Did you light Shabbat candles last Shabbat? Did you cook a meal for your family? Did you do your best, making sure to fulfill your obligation to do the work your employer expects of you? Did you pay for the groceries on your way home (you probably didn’t steal them)! Did you pray today, even briefly? Think of all the good deeds you’ve done, no matter how small.

*We use the language of court to describe the effects of our actions, but these terms (Heavenly court, decrees, rulings, etc.) may be understood in a less coarse, more metaphysical light, one which does not diminish their very real effects.

Azamra: The Mountain and The Secret

Instant Azamra

In the previous post, we said that it’s important to understand the concept of Azamra and how following this practice empowers us and brings us to joy, and why joy is so important. In a nutshell:

1. Look for the good points in others.

2. Look for the good points in yourself.

3. When you do, you’ll be less prone to depression, more open to joy.

4. When you’re more joyous, it’s easier to pray.

5. When you pray, you connect with God.

6. When you connect with God, you are fulfilling a vital life mission (which brings more joy.)

There are other rich and important lessons in Azamra, such as the role of the Tzaddik and prayer leader, and profound and lyrical revelations about innocence and more. But if you’re new to this lesson, the essence of Azamra is learning how to view yourself and others with an ayin tova, a good eye, even if you have to search quite hard to find the good.

Mt. Azamra

It sounds so simple. But actually practicing Azamra might be one of the greatest spiritual mountains you’ll ever climb.

That’s because the overt mission of the yetzer hara, the evil inclination, is to woo us away from living each day with spiritual joy, and to increase doubts, self-destructive cravings, loathing, jealousy and depression. (The yetzer hara’sdeeper mission is to inspire us to overcome and rise above it and return to God, but that mission is hidden beneath many layers.)

Depression is by far the most profoundly soul-shattering emotion because a depressed person cannot talk openly with God. Sure, a sad person, one who has some regrets or occasional sorrows, can cry out to God, but a bitter, shut-down, depression takes a person over—mind, body, and soul.

A depressed person has no hope.  A depressed person has no faith. And, a depressed person is unable to love. All our important relationships are rooted in love, whether that love is between parent and child, husband and wife, teacher and student, Tzaddik and chassid, or you and God.

When we examine our faults closely,* when we do a cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of our character and actions, we may become overwhelmed by what we see. We might think: I did this! I thought that! Oy, can I ever repair what I’ve done?

Rebbe Nachman says we can: If you believe you can destroy, believe you can repair.

Still, when confronted with our flaws, many of us either project them onto other people or slide into depression and stagnation. It is actually quite difficult to really, truly believe we can fix things. That’s why it’s so important to look for our good points, identify them, and build on them.

The Secret

There have been several popular, secular books that shall remain unnamed, which have captured the imagination of wishful people everywhere, even, sadly, people who believe in God and Torah. These books, despite their focus on fairly infantile self-gratification, material desires, and magical thinking, do point out a compelling truth, one that Rebbe Nachman revealed over two centuries ago: You are where your thoughts are.

Whatever you focus your attention on becomes your reality. You attract more of it to you. If you focus on your bad points, your flaws, your failures, the squidgy dark underside of your soul, you bring yourself down into that darkness.

If you focus on the good deeds you’ve done, the kind thoughts you’ve had, the prayers you’ve prayed, the words of encouragement you’ve shared, and the tears of compassion for others you’ve shed, you bring yourself into a joyous heart-space.

Therefore, if you want to fulfill the essential mitzvah of serving God with joy, you need to chase after your good points.

The Summit

Once you’ve summited Azamra the first time, it gets easier. For example, when you silence that negative voice that condemns your neighbor for leaving her garbage cans on your property, and you remember and envision her generosity when her peonies are in bloom (she brings you a fresh bunch for Shabbat), the next time your mind will automatically go to those peonies.

Once you remember that yes, you might not be as honest or kind as you’d like, and maybe you aren’t as regular in your prayers as you could be, but you do make an effort to give charity regularly, you’ll experience a joy that lifts you a bit closer to God.  And with time, you’ll get close enough so you can talk, connect, and build a relationship with Him.

*It is appropriate to examine ourselves and talk about our failures with God for a limited amount of time each day. However, for most of us, at least 23 hours out of 24, if not more, should be focused on being joyful.

Azamra: The Tzaddiki’s Mission

Look for the good points. In others. In ourselves. This brings us to joy. The joy washes over us and we are able to talk to God and create a relationship with Him. This is the essence of Azamra.

When we choose and collect these good points, we create a melody, much as a musician creates a melody when he chooses and then plays several notes. This is a conscious, even cognitive process, but also a spiritual one.

Azamra is the playing of our own soul-melody, the singing of the song of our soul.

Tzaddik

In Azamra, Likutey Moharan 282, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that one who is a prayer leader, such as thechazzan in a synagogue, must be a master of Azamra (or at least proficient.)

The prayer leader’s job is to collect all the good points from each person praying with the congregation, and carry them aloft with his own prayers. A beautiful voice or a snazzy singing style are not necessary. The spiritual talent is what’s counts.

And, the ultimate prayer leader is the Tzaddik.

A Tzaddik, or totally righteous Jewish person, such as Moses, the Baal Shem Tov, or Rebbe Nachman, is able to hone in on each and every Jew’s good points, no matter how “bad” they appear to be on the outside.

The Tzaddik is a heart-reader, a pray-er and a soul-musician beyond compare. And, he must be humble enough to be able to come close enough to see us (the people whose prayers he collects) for who we really are, no matter how lost we may be—and still find our good points.

The Tzaddik gave God his promise that he would repair the Universe, and the way he does this is to find our good points and lift up all devotions to Heaven. He inspires us to return to the true Source of All and he shows us that we are very, very precious in God’s eyes.

The concept of the Tzaddik is not the concept of someone speaking for us as if we are incapable of speaking to God ourselves, God Forbid. The Tzaddik is eminently, profoundly human, like us and capable of seeing and understanding our humanity.

The Tzaddik reveals the beautiful notes of our good deeds and strings them together to chime before the Heavens. He inspires us to see the beautiful goodness in ourselves and others, and reach out, with joy, to God.

Azamra is a foundational lesson of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. We carry it in our pocket and in our heart.

Azamra! for Grasshoppers

Healthy and balanced self-esteem is the awareness and appreciation of your good points combined with genuine humility.

Self-knowledge is the first step to self-esteem.

The Torah reading this week, Shelach, offers a glimpse into the dangers of not understanding who you are, not knowing what your mission is, and not seeing yourself clearly.

The spies in Shelach were righteous men, tzaddikim, who held important tribal leadership roles while the Jews traveled in the desert. Hashem spoke to Moshe and told him that He was giving the land of Canaan to children of Israel. He told Moshe if wanted to, he could send spies to scout out the land.

The Holy Zohar explains that the spies, along with the entire generation of the desert except for Joshua and Caleb, would ultimately be unable to live in the Holy Land because they had relied on their own, faulty reasoning to denigrate the land, rather than humbly accepting that Hashem had prepared this holy land for his chosen people.

The spies returned with a negative report about the land of Canaan’s frightening inhabitants, the nefilim: “We were as grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we were in their (the nefilim’s) eyes, too.” They put themselves down and didn’t believe they and the Jewish people were capable of completing this mission.

Grasshoppers and Giants

Grasshoppers are noisy, hoppy bugs, which, though reasonably cute for an insect, are tiny. But a person who sees them self as being as small and insignificant as a grasshopper is not being humble.  Authentic humility requires seeing your self as a human being—not a bug; a real-life, imperfect person with all a person’s attendant human failings and flaws. A human being who is humbly and totally dependent on God for each breath they take.

In order to have healthy self-esteem you also need to understand that you are a human being with a soul, who was created in the image of God. Hashem has given you an essential life mission, a mission no one else but you is capable of completing. And, at the same time, healthy self-esteem needs the recogniztion that Hashem is the one who makes the mission possible.

A grasshopper is not capable of this kind self-reflection.

The spies didn’t recognize that they needed both qualities—that of their spiritual greatness as well as their lowliness and dependence on Hashem. If they had, they wouldn’t have seen themselves as grasshoppers.

In Azamra (LM, 282), Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches us how to develop healthy self-esteem. We start by identifying and appreciating on our genuine good points. The good points the Rebbe’s referring to don’t include our fabulous hair, our way with words, or our great career. They don’t include our social status, our intellectual successes, or our creative talents.

The good points the Rebbe refers to are our spiritual accomplishments, the mitzvos we do.

But, falsely viewing ourselves as low as grasshoppers lets us off the hook—by seeing ourselves (or others) as less than we are, we aren’t able to rise above our low expectations.

Remember: You are a person, not a grasshopper.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

A rancher from Texas visits Australia. He meets an Australian rancher who invites him out to his cattle station for a jeep tour.

First, the Aussie shows off his newly-discovered oil rig at the edge of his property.  The Texan says, “Well, that’s a mighty cute toy. Back home in Texas, though, we give rigs that small to our kids to play with and keep the big ones for us grown-ups.”

Next, the Aussie shows off his herd of cattle. The Texan says, “Nice lil’ calves you got there, but, back home in Texas we got longhorns twice that size.”

The Australian has had enough and turns the jeep around, when suddenly, a mob of kangaroos hops right by them.  The Texan’s eyes pop and he asks: “What on earth are those?”

The Aussie sneers: “Grasshoppers!”