A Rabbi was walking, slowly, out of a shul in New York, when a gust of wind blew his hat off and down the street. He was an old man, who walked with the aid of a cane, and he couldn’t run after the hat. Across the street, a young gentile man saw what was happening, rushed over and grabbed the hat. He then returned it to the Rabbi.
“I don’t think I could have retrieved my hat by myself,” said the Rabbi. “Thank you very much!” He then placed his hand on the man’s shoulder and said, “May God bless you.”
The young man thought to himself, “I’ve been blessed by the Rabbi, this must be my lucky day!” He decided then and there to go to the racetrack. In the first race he noticed a horse named ‘Stetson’ at 20 to 1. He bet $50 and, sure enough, the horse came in first. In the second race, a horse named ‘Fedora’ was at 30 to 1, so he bet all his money on that horse. Fedora came in first, as well.
At the end of the day the man returned home to his wife. She asked him where he’d been. He explained about catching the Rabbi’s hat, and being blessed by him, and how he then went to the track and did so well betting on horses named after hats.
“So where’s the money?” she said.
“I lost it all in the ninth race. I bet on a horse named ‘Chateau’ and it lost.”
“You fool,” exclaimed his wife, ‘Chateau’ is a house, ‘chapeau’ is a hat!”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said, “the winner was some Japanese horse named ‘Yarmulka’.”