A Rabbi And Two Miss Universes Walk Into A Bar


Actually, ignore the title of this blog piece. Let’s play Jeopardy, for a minute.

Miss Colombia, Miss Philippines, and Rabbi Noach Muroff have this in common.

What is Steve Harvey!

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!

So, um. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard about the little (!) mistake Steve Harvey made when he read the card wrong at the Miss Universe contest. Miss Colombia was already crowned and about to take her walk when this happened.


I felt (just awful) for Miss Colombia and a little bit for Miss Philippines who was put in an awkward situation, to say the least. There was no protocol in place for this happenstance. Does Miss Colombia simply reach up with one hand and take her crown off? Can you imagine her going from highest joy and the excitement of the win to utter and total humiliation?

And Miss Philippines was not much better off. The “winner” had already been announced and she’d managed to be graceful and swallow her disappointment and cheer for her friend. But then, nope. It’s her! How could it be?? What should she do? If she goes up there, Miss Colombia is humiliated, but she is being urged to do what she has to do.

She is embarrassed and happy and hurting for her friend, and then finally, someone comes out to remove the crown from Miss Colombia. I liked that she put her hands around them both, and rubbed the small of Miss Colombia’s back, feeling for her terrible pain.

And of course, you may even feel kind of bad for Steve Harvey, who is generally known as a good guy. My husband suggested he might have a reading disorder and maybe the white space on the card tripped him up, or perhaps the letters jumped around on the page. That’s the sort of thing that happens with dyslexia, for instance.


Who knows. And anyway, it’s all just speculation.

But back to the ladies. Miss Philippines’ win was not all it was cracked up to be. This happened next.

Big ouch. Not very nice. It wasn’t HER fault, after all. Poor thing. Poor EVERYONE.

In carrying out the necessary day-after postmortem, people seemed to appreciate that Steve Harvey owned up to his mistake and took the blame for what happened like a man.

The internet still had fun, of course.

Until common sense prevailed and we remembered what a good guy Steve Harvey really is.

I love the way Steve Harvey allowed Rabbi Muroff to explain how being an Orthodox Jew meant he was taught to put himself in other peoples’ places, to see how they feel, that he brought his kids along for the learning experience.

Did you notice the heads nodding in the audience? This is what we call a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of God’s name. Steve Harvey had a hand in making that happen; and for this, in this crazy, mixed up world filled with Richard Silversteins, Peter Beinarts, and Roger Waters, he will continue to be remembered for good. At least by the Jews.

This post grew out of a great thread on Facebook and I’d like to shout out to my friends who helped me put this together: Allen Gochnour, Phil Silverman, and Tzipora Thantun. Thank you!

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A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.