There was once a small Jewish population in an area which was
dominated by Quakers. The Jews there had their own synagogue, and
found their Quaker neighbors to be friendly. All in all, the two
populations got on very well.
One summer, there was a terrible fire and the synagogue was
completely burned to the ground. The Jews were devistated, and began
raising money to build a new synagogue. The Quakers quickly saw their
plight, and also decided to lend a hand. They got together and had a
meeting and decided that until the new synagogue could be built, the
Jews should be able to pray in their church on Friday nights and
Saturdays, since they only needed the church on Sundays. Furthermore,
all funds placed in the charity box would go toward the rebuilding of
the synagogue. The Jews of the community, and their Rabbi, were
overwhelmed by the generous offer - and so it was.
All through the time of the building, the Jews prayed in the Quaker
church on their Sabbath and the Quakers on theirs. As the months
rolled by, the funds rolled in and the synagogue came closer and
closer to completion. Finally, just before Rosh HaShanna, the
synagogue was ready to be reopened. The Rabbi decided that the first
services would take place on Erev Rosh HaShanna, and he announced this
at the services in the Quaker church.
The whole community were outside the new synagogue for the
grand-festive re-opening. Everyone was congratulating each other as
the Rabbi went into the synagogue, and walked up to the pulpit. He
then had the Gabbai open the doors for his congregants to enter.
After a few minutes, the stream of people stopped, and the Gabbai
went up to the pulpit to inform the Rabbi that everyone had been
seated and that the services could begin. The Rabbi looked around and
noticed something strange. He mentioned to the Gabbai that there
seemed to be several, if not many, congregants missing. To this, the
Gabbai replied: . . . "I hate to tell you this, Rabbi, but you should
know that some of your best Jews are Friends!"