Moishe, a Yeshiva boy, graduates high school and is about to go to college. He was born and lived in Brooklyn his entire life but he gets a full scholarship to the University of Montana and it is such a generous deal that his parents, who would prefer to keep him in Brooklyn forever, let him go.
Six months go by and they have not heard from him. They’re frantic. They call the dorm and are told that he doesn’t live there anymore. They call the Registrar who says that he is no longer enrolled. They are about to fly to Montana when a letter comes from Moishe:
‘Dear Mother, Dear Father, Sorry I have been so negligent but I met the most wonderful girl and we plan to marry. That is why I dropped out of school. Little Feather is a Native American, a princess in her tribe, and her father is the Chief.
He has made me a member of the tribe. I had to leave school because of the nonsense they teach about Native Americans – the lack of respect, the distortions of history. But now I understand things better.
I have decided to take a Native American name which the Chief helped me decide. From now on, please call me Running Deer. I will NOT answer correspondence addressed to Moishe.’
A few days later he gets a reply:
‘Dear Running Deer. Your dad and I are pleased that you have finally found a woman to love and that you are happy on the reservation. We regret that she is not Jewish but to celebrate your new love and upcoming marriage we also have decided to take Native American names…
I am now SITTING SHIVA and your father is GOING MISHUGA.