By: Shmuel Shayowitz

How appropriate that during the week we read the Torah portion of Noach and the flood, Jeff Bezos, one of the wealthiest men in the world, tweeted, “the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches.” Bezos joins the myriad of CEOs, executives, politicians, and economists predicting doom and gloom for the U.S. and world economies.

With all the negative news out there and a pending Federal Reserve rate hike on Wednesday, which I predict will be 75bps, I will spare you my market commentary this week. Instead, I will relay an updated version of “The 2022 Story of Noah” based on an old post from upjoke.com.

The Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in America and said: “Once again, the world has become corrupt and perverse. Behold, I am bringing a flood to destroy the earth.” He commanded Noah to build another Ark and save two of every living thing and a few good humans. He gave Noah the blueprints and said, “You have six months to build the Ark before I unleash the relentless rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark. “Noah!” His voice thundered, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?” “Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but I have had many challenges.

For starters, he needed a Building Permit, which had not been approved.” Noah had been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system that would not run into the sewer lines. Further, the homeowners association claimed that Noah violated the Neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in his backyard, and his plans exceeded height restrictions. The framing of his boat was too wide, breaking township setbacks laws. Clearly, he must not have known to reach out to Shimmy Stein.

Then the City Council and the Electricity Company demanded a boatload of money (pun intended) for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. Noah told them there was no need to move the boat “as the waters would be coming to us,” but they would hear none of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There was still a lumber shortage due to supply-chain issues lingering from COVID. Furthermore, any available lumber was already being used by all the new construction in Bergenfield. The Environmental Protection Agency then showed up and declared that Noah couldn’t build the Ark until they had conducted an environmental impact study on the proposed flood and what impact it would have on Climate Change.

If that weren’t enough, when Noah started gathering the animals, PETA took him to court. They insisted that he was confining wild animals against their will. They argued that the accommodations were too restrictive, cruel, and inhumane. They immediately demanded that the animals should be returned to their cages in the zoo where they belonged.

“Also, I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many union workers I’m supposed to hire for my building crew,” said Noah. “At least there was good news as the Immigration Dept. and Homeland Security were extremely accommodating. To streamline the process, I was not allowed to check the visa status or documentation of anyone who showed up to work. They have bused in a crew of over 10,000,000 people.”

Noah’s final issue was with the individuals permitted on the Ark. The crowd barely moved as everyone was glued to their phones. The lines unraveled every few minutes as teenagers moved out of place to record trending TikToks. To make matters worse, fights broke out as everyone protested the definition of a man, a woman, and those who identified as inanimate objects.

“So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this ark.”

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”

“No,” said the Lord. “ The Government beat me to it.”


Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at Shmuel@approvedfunding.com.

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