A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks around the temple, and makes sure everything is in working order. A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of synagog functionaries, and there's a joke about that:
A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the middle of a service, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!".
The cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!"
The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, "Oh, Lord, I am nobody!"
The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, "Now look who thinks he's nobody!"
Just before Rosh Hashana, a team of terrorists invades the shul and takes
the rabbi, the cantor and the shul president hostage. Hours later, the
governor stands tough, he won't give them a million dollars, nor a getaway
car nor a Jumbo Jet.
The terrorists gather the three hostages in a corner and inform them that
things look bad and they're going to have to shoot them. Nevertheless, to
show that they're not really a bad bunch, they'll grant each hostage one
"Please," says the rabbi, "for the last two months I've been working on my
Rosh Hashana Sermon. What a waste to die now without having carried it
before an audience. I'll go happilly if you let me recite my sermon. It's
an hour - ninety minutes long, tops."
They promise to grant him the wish.
"Please," says the cantor, "after 50 years I've finally gotten the
'Hinneni' prayer just right. What a waste to die and not sing it to more...
A cantor brags before his congregation in a booming, bellowing voice: "Two years ago I insured my voice with Lloyds of London for $750,000."
There is a hushed and awed silence in the crowded room. Suddenly, from the back of the room, the quiet, nasal voice of an elderly woman is heard, "So what did you do with the money?"
During Sabbath services the Rabbi kneels and puts his forehead to the floor and says, "Before you oh Lord, I am nothing."
The Cantor looks at him, thinks it couldn't hurt, and kneels, puts his forehead to the floor, and says, "Before you oh Lord, I am nothing."
Ben Shapiro in the fifth row is watching this and thinking that it was a pretty good idea, so he goes in the middle of the aisle, kneels and puts his forehead to the floor and says, "Before you oh Lord, I am nothing."
The Rabbi nudges the Cantor. "Look who thinks he's nothing!"
The synagogue's cantor stood before the congregation and, in a bellowing voice, bragged, "A couple of years ago, I had my voice insured with Lloyds of London for $500,000."
A silence immediately came over the crowded room. Suddenly, the voice of an elderly woman at the back of the room called out, "So, vat did you do with the money?"