So nu, why are we
including a "Jewish Humor Page" on our ministry web
site??! Well, many reading this page are from non-Jewish
backgrounds, and if you're honest, you'll admit that there are
many things about Jewish culture you just don't 'get'. Humor has
always been a prominent feature of Jewish life, particularly in
times of persecution when things were bleak. You'll understand
more of the traditional Jewish mindset when you read Jewish
humor. At the very least, we'll double the amount of 'hits' this
site gets when we publicize the fact that it has
merry heart makes for a cheerful face" Proverbs 15:13
An older Jewish woman from Brooklyn goes in search of a famous
guru. She takes a plane to India and then a boat up a river, and
then hikes into the mountains with local guides. All in all it
takes her months of hardship to track down this guru. When she
finds him he is in the middle of some kind of ritual which lasts
for days and the guru's many followers won't let her see him.
Eventually she reaches the hallowed portals. There she is told
firmly that due to the long lines she can only say EIGHT words to
the guru. "Fine", she says. She is ushered into the
inner sanctum where the wise guru is seated, ready to bestow
spiritual blessings upon his eager initiates. Just before she
reaches his throne she is once again reminded: "Remember,
just EIGHT words." Finally the guru is ready to receive
visitors and calls for the woman to be admitted. She stands
before the famous guru. "Bernie"
she says, "it's your mother, time to
man said, "Please explain the Talmud to me."
"Very well," he said. "First, I will ask you a
question. If two men climb up a chimney and one comes out dirty,
and one comes out clean, which one washes himself?"
"The dirty one," answers the man. "No. They look
at each other and the dirty man thinks he is clean and the clean
man thinks he is dirty, therefore, the clean man washes himself.
"Now, another question. If two men climb up a chimney and
one comes out dirty, and one comes out clean, which one washes
The man smiles and says, "You just told me, Rabbi. The man
who is clean washes himself because he thinks he is dirty."
"No," says the Rabbi. "If they each look at
themselves, the clean man knows he doesn't have to wash himself,
so the dirty man washes himself.
"Now, one more question. If two men climb up a chimney and
one comes out dirty, and one comes out clean, which one washes
"I don't know, Rabbi. Depending on your point of view, it
could be either one." Again the Rabbi says, "No. If two
men climb up a chimney, how could one man remain clean? They both
are dirty, and they both wash themselves."
The confused man said, "Rabbi, you asked me the same
question three times and you gave me three different answers. Is
this some kind of a joke?" "This is not a joke, my son.
This is Talmud."
A rabbi and his two friends, a priest and a minister, played
poker for small stakes once a week. The only problem was that
they lived in a very conservative blue-law town. The sheriff
raided their game and took all three before the local judge.
After listening to the sheriff's story, the judge sternly
inquired of the priest: "Were you gambling, Father?"
The priest looked toward heaven, whispered, "Oh, Lord,
forgive me!" and then said aloud: "No, your honor, I
was not gambling."
"Were you gambling, Reverend?" the judge asked the
minister. The minister repeated the priest's actions and said,
"No, your honor, I was not."
Turning to the third clergyman, the judge asked: "Were you
gambling, Rabbi?" The rabbi eyed him coolly and replied
A young rabbi was very fond of playing golf. Every chance he
would get, he would steal away to the golf course and shoot a
couple of rounds. One year, on Yom Kippur, the Holiest day of the
year, a day of Prayer and Fasting, he just couldn't help himself.
He had such a desire to play that day, and knowing that the
course would be fairly empty, he decided to finish the morning
service and sneak off for a few quick rounds. As God looked down
on the rabbi, one of his assistants gasped in horror. "My
Lord, how will you punish this Rabbi for this horrible
transgression?", he asked. "Watch and you shall
see", said God. He pointed his finger toward the Rabbi, and
lo and behold, the Rabbi shot a hole in one! God's assistant was
astonished. "Is this what you call punishment?", he
asked. "Watch again." was the response. And the finger
of the almighty pointed toward the rabbi, and once again, a hole
in one! "I am afraid I don't understand.", the puzzled
assistant exclaimed. "What kind of punishment is this,
allowing him to shoot the best game of his life?" God looked
the young assistant in the eye and said "So- who's he gonna
The story is told of 4 older Jewish ladies who enjoyed getting
together in each others' homes.
"My son," says Mrs. Levi, "is a Physicist and
heads up a department at the University. Her friends nodded
approvingly. "My son," says Mrs. Greenberg, "is a
Doctor and is Chief of Surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital". You
must be so proud, they said. "My son," says Mrs.
Goldblatt, "is the head of a law firm and president of the
bar association". Again, nods all around. "My
son," says Mrs. Cohen, "is a Rabbi". "A
Rabbi?!" they exclaim, "What kind of career is that for
a Jewish boy?"
The waiter at a Jewish Deli serves his customer a whitefish. As
he's walking away he overhears his customer talking to the fish.
Soon the customer is deep in conversation with his lunch.
"So what's the deal here," says the waiter. "You
plan on eating it or taking it home and marrying it? "We're
just schmoozing," says the customer. "Turns out the
fish is from Great Neck Bay. I used to live there. So I was
asking him how things are back in Great Neck. "Sure, so what
did he say?" asked the waiter. "He said, 'How should I
know? I ain't been there in years!
Moshe and Shlomo are walking down the street when it starts to
rain, and no little sprinkle either but a real shower. It just so
happens that Moshe is carrying an umbrella.
"Nu," says Shlomo. "So when are you going to open
the umbrella. "It won't do us any good," says Moshe.
"It's full of holes. "So why then did you bring
it?" says Shlomo. "Because," Moshe says with
shrug, "I didn't think it would rain."
HUMOR - page 2
In these recent days of high security
in Washington, President Bush was furious that every discussion, no matter how
private, about Israel or anything that involved Jews, immediately became public.
Determined to find the source of the leak, he instructed both the FBI and the
CIA to investigate. Their joint report came back that the Jews had a network
called "shul" that was impossible to infiltrate. That was where
information was exchanged. To crack the leak, infiltrate the shul. Bush decided
that he would handle the matter himself. He called in the head of the FBI's
disguise department, who dressed him in a long black coat, put a shtreimel on
his head, gave him a long beard and even fake peyos. From an unmarked car, he
departed a block from an appropriate Washington shul He walked in undetected and
sat himself among the crowd. After a few minutes, in accordance with his
instructions, he turned to his neighbor and, in a perfect Yiddish inflection,
said, "So? Nu-u-u? Vhat's happening? "Sha!" came the vehement
response. "Der President is coming!"
Bernie had never been in an automat before. He stood feeding the apple
pie slot with coins until his friend Max tried to stop him. "Bernie, you
messugganah, stop! You have eight pies already." Bernie replied "So
what do you care if I keep winning?"
The Goldbergs went to pay their respects to their good friend who had just died.
As they filed past the open coffin Mrs. Goldberg remarked: "How good he
looks, how relaxed, how tanned, how healthy!" "And why not?"
replied Mr. Goldberg. "He just spent three weeks in Miami."
A Texan visiting Israel meets a farmer there. The Texan asks him what he
does. "I raise a few chickens," says the Israeli. "I'm also a
farmer. How much land do you have?" asks the Texan. "Ten acres in
front, but almost 40 acres out back. What about your farm?", the Israeli
asked. The Texan tells him, "On my farm, I can drive from morning until
sundown and not reach the end of my property." "That's too bad,"
says the Israeli. "I once had a car like that."
A little old lady gets onto a crowded bus and stands in front of a
seated young girl. Holding her hand to her chest, she says to the girl, "If
you knew what I have, you would give me your seat." The girl gets up and
gives up her the seat to the old lady. It is hot. The girl then takes out a fan
and starts fanning herself. The woman looks up and says, "If you knew what
I have, you would give me that fan." The girl gives her the fan, too.
Fifteen minutes later the woman gets up and says to the bus driver, "Stop,
I want to get off here." The bus driver tells her he has to drop her at the
next corner, not in the middle of the block. With her hand across her chest, she
tells the driver, "If you knew what I have, you would let me off the bus
right here." The bus driver pulls over and opens the door to let her out.
As she's walking out of the bus, he asks, "Madam, what is it you have?
" The old woman looks at him and nonchalantly replies,
A Synagogue got really fed up with its Rabbi. The Executive Committee
met and none-too-reluctantly, concluded that they'd have to let him go. Trouble
was - who'd want to take him - especially if it got out that he'd been fired? So
the Executive Committee decided to give him a glowing letter of recommendation.
It compared the Rabbi to Shakespeare, Moses and even God Himself. The
recommendation was so warm that within six weeks the Rabbi succeeded in securing
himself a pulpit in a major upwardly-mobile Synagogue 500 miles away, at twice
his original salary and with three junior Rabbis working under him. Needless to
say, in a couple of months the Rabbi's new employers began to observe some of
his many imperfections. The President of the Rabbi's new pulpit angrily called
the President of the old Synagogue charging "We employed this man mostly on
the basis of your recommendation. How could you possibly compare him to
Shakespeare, Moses and even God Himself, when he can't string together a correct
sentence in English, when his knowledge of Hebrew is worse than mine and that on
top of everything else, he's a liar, a cheat and an all-round scoundrel ?"
"Simple," answered his colleague. "Like Shakespeare he has no
Hebrew or Jewish knowledge. Like Moses, he can't speak English, and like God
Himself - 'Er is nisht kan mentch (He's not a human being!)."
WARNING: AN OLD JEWISH JOKE WRITTEN BEFORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!
These two Jewish men are sitting in a wonderful deli frequented almost
exclusively by Jews in the Jewish section of town. They are talking among
themselves in Yiddish. A Chinese waiter comes up and in fluent and impeccable
Yiddish asks them if everything is okay, can he get them anything, and so forth.
The Jewish men are dumbfounded. "Unbelievable, where did he learn such
perfect Yiddish?" they both think. After they pay the bill they ask the
manager of the store, an old friend also fluent in Yiddish, "Where did your
waiter learn such fabulous Yiddish?" The owner looks around and leans in so
no one will hear and says, "Shhhh. He thinks we're teaching him
A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both
cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of the clerics is hurt. After
they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says,
"So you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There's nothing
left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that
we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our
days." The priest replies, "I agree with you completely."
"This must be a sign from God." The rabbi continues, "And look at
this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of
Mogen David wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and
celebrate our good fortune." Then he hands the bottle to the priest. The
priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi.
The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to
the priest. The priest asks, "Aren't you having any?" The rabbi
replies, "No...I think I'll wait for the police."
An Orthodox Rabbi was walking home when he noticed his Cantor walking
ahead of him. The Rabbi hurried to catch up as he had some important matters to
discuss. Much to his dismay, the Rabbi saw that the Cantor had entered a Chinese
restaurant. The Rabbi couldn't believe his eyes. He looked through the window
and saw the Cantor pointing to the menu and talking to the waiter. He looked
again and saw the waiter deliver a tray of food to the Cantor. Then he saw the
Cantor take the chop sticks and start eating a traif, non-kosher meal, including
pork and shrimp. The Rabbi could no longer contain himself. He burst into the
resturant and said, "Moshe, what are you doing?" Moshe looked up and
said to the Rabbi, "I don't understand." The Rabbi said, "I just
saw you, Moshe, my Cantor, with all this traif food." Moshe said,
"Rabbi, did you see me come into this restaurant? " "Yes I
did," replied the Rabbi. "Did you see me order the food?"
"Yes I did" said the Rabbi. "Did you see me eat the food?"
"Of course I did! Why do you think I barged in here?" "Well
then," said Moshe, "I don't see the problem. It was all done under
HUMOR - page 3
A Jewish magazine
printed this comic parody during the 2000 election:
Responding to reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton's quest for a
Senate seat from New York improved after it became known that her
step-grandfather was Jewish, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has acknowledged that
his second cousin's third wife once rode in a cab driven by a Jewish driver.
"Rabbi Rudy!" trumpeted the New York Post the next day. The mayor's
favorite tabloid featured a two-page spread on Hizzoner wearing various
yarmulkes, speaking in shuls, and praying at the Western Wall during a visit to
Israel. An editorial proclaimed that Giuliani, an Italian Catholic, "is
just as Jewish in our book" as Mrs. Clinton, who is Methodist, and expected
rival for the Senate seat "Anyone who disagrees with us," concluded
the editorial, "we'll personally give a smack in the tuchus and wouldn't
that make the mayor proud."
In Washington, political observers scoffed at the effort by New York politicians
to ingratiate themselves with the city's large Jewish population. "It's
blatant pandering and voters see right through it," said a spokesman for
Vice President Al Gore, who also dropped the news that the presidential hopeful
once roomed in college with a young man whose aunt briefly dated a Jewish
"I mention it only because it happens to be true and people are interested
in this kind of information," said the spokesman, adding that while
visiting in New York in early 1991, Gore had enjoyed a large piece of Halavah .
"That's got to give Al a huge bounce in the polls in New York,"
exclaimed Martin Peretz, publisher of the New Republic and longtime supporter of
the Tennessee Democrat "These attempts by politicians to appeal to Jewish
voters by eating Jewish food and using Yiddish words is ludicrous," Peretz
said, noting that less than 3 percent of the U.S. population is Jewish.
"But Al was over the house the other night for dinner, and insisted on a
corned beef sandwich and a seltzer. And when I brought it to him, he
said,"ah gezunt af dein keppel."
Former Sen. Bill Bradley, who is competing with Gore for the Democratic
presidential nomination, said he would not stoop to target his campaign toward
Jewish voters, despite the fact that they go to the polls in disproportionately
"Look, I'm a Rhodes scholar," Bradley explained,"and I know that
Jewish people appreciate and admire intellectual achievement, and they would
kvell if they knew my SAT scores or grades at Princeton. And I also know that
Jewish people are obsessed with knowing which famous people are Jewish, whether
it's movie stars or famous athletes or politicians, but I'm running a different
kind of campaign, and I'm just not going to get into that stuff. So I won't even
comment on the fact that my campaign treasurer's economics professor at Columbia
once used a Jewish accountant. And it's irrelevant that the accountant's wife
belonged to Hadassah."
Campaigning in Houston, Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican presidential
front-runner, cut short a speech in Spanish to a largely Hispanic audience to
ask directions to the nearest synagogue.
When asked why, he said he did not want to look like he was engaging in the
reprehensible practice of catering to Jewish voters, so he could not explain.
But he did note a moment later that "my wife's manicurist's therapist's
uncle died this morning in Brooklyn, and I thought it would be appropriate to
stop in to a synagogue and recite the traditional kiddush."
Later, when asked if he meant the Kaddish prayer recited for the dead rather
than the blessing over wine, Bush appeared annoyed. "Hey, I know about Jews
and all their sensitivities. I read the Old Testament, I learned plenty in the
Holy Land, I visited the Wailing Wall and saw where our Lord walked. And I
kibbutzed around with folks on a kibbitz. So don't go there."
In New York, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement decrying the
"growing hysteria among our political leaders to try to please Jewish
voters who are far too sophisticated to fall for such crass attempts." The
ADL called it "reverse anti-Semitism," and said if necessary, American
Jews will take to the streets to insist on a society that is fully democratic.
"We won't tolerate anyone, including powerful politicians, being too nice
to us," said ADL leader Abe Foxman.
Rabbi Avi Weiss of Riverdale announced immediate plans to chain himself to the
next politician who emphasizes his or her Jewish ties. "It pains me to take
action," said the activist rabbi as he donned his tallit, "but we
simply won't take this standing up."
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton issued a statement chastising the press for creating
such a fuss in the first place over the fact that her grandmother had been
married to a Jew. She said any talk of her leaking this information to improve
her standing in the Jewish community was "absurd."
She then left for Western Maryland with her husband where they planned to rename
their presidential retreat "Camp Star of David."
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