Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Feb 15, DMae rated it really liked it. This is one of my favorite books set in Rome. I identified with the characters and their lives there. Val rated it liked it Jul 06, Promocave rated it it was amazing Nov 16, Debbie rated it it was ok Aug 31, Joie rated it it was amazing Dec 18, Carlos Dews added it May 16, Rachel marked it as to-read Nov 21, Maureen added it Dec 18, Elise marked it as to-read Dec 19, Ryan marked it as to-read Feb 15, Wendy Merrill marked it as to-read Feb 03, Mary Wolenski added it Apr 26, Sarah Bookwalter marked it as to-read Jul 05, Teresa Anderson added it Feb 01, A Nazi libel sheet!
Are you some kind of masochist , or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew? When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine , and assimilation in America. After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia , a government official in Ukraine menacingly addressed the local rabbi, "I suppose you know in full detail who was behind it.
And another example, a direct slice of galgenhumor gallows humor:. During the days of oppression and poverty of the Russian shtetls , one village had a rumor going around: Fearing a pogrom , they gathered at the synagogue. Suddenly, the rabbi came running up, and cried, "Wonderful news!
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The murdered girl was Jewish! There is also humor originating in the United States , such as this joke:. So, that Thanksgiving, while the woman is baking, the doorbell rings. She opens her door and, to her horror, five black soldiers are standing in front of her. Rabinovich calls the Pamyat headquarters: Could you tell me where I might get my share?
Some Yiddish words may sound comical to an English speaker. Yiddish constructions—such as ending sentences with questions—became part of the verbal word play of Jewish comedians. One common strain of Jewish humor examines the role of religion in contemporary life, often gently mocking the religious hypocrite. A Reform Rabbi was so compulsive a golfer that once, on Yom Kippur, he left the house early and went out for a quick nine holes by himself.
An angel who happened to be looking on immediately notified his superiors that a grievous sin was being committed. The angel was horrified. Or, on differences between Orthodox , Conservative and Reform movements:. An Orthodox, a Conservative, and a Reform rabbi are each asked whether one is supposed to say a brokhe blessing over a lobster non- kosher food, normally not eaten by religious Jews. The Orthodox rabbi asks, "What is this The Reform rabbi says, "What's a brokhe? In particular, Reform Jews may be lampooned for their rejection of traditional Jewish beliefs.
An example, from one of Woody Allen 's early stand-up routines:.
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- Jewish humor;
Jokes have been made about the shifting of gender roles in the more traditional Orthodox movement, women marry at a young age and have many children, while the more liberal Conservative and Reform movements make gender roles more egalitarian , even ordaining women as Rabbis. The Reconstructionist movement was the first to ordain homosexuals , all of which leads to this joke:. At an Orthodox wedding, the bride's mother is pregnant. At a Conservative wedding, the bride is pregnant.
At a Reform wedding, the rabbi is pregnant. At a Reconstructionist wedding, the rabbi and her wife are both pregnant. A man is rescued from a desert island after 20 years. The news media, amazed at this feat of survival, ask him to show them his home. How did you keep sane? My faith as a Jew kept me strong. And what did you do for the next fifteen years? There, in a shady grove, is an even more beautiful temple. I wouldn't set foot in that other temple if you PAID me! As with most ethnicities, jokes have often mocked Jewish accents —at times gently, and at others quite harshly.
One of the kinder examples is:. One early winter morning, Rabbi Bloom was walking beside the canal when he saw a dog in the water, trying hard to stay afloat. It looked so sad and exhausted that Rabbi Bloom jumped in, and after a struggle, managed to bring it out alive. A passer-by who saw this remarked, "That was very brave of you!
You must love animals; are you a vet? Of course I'm a—vet! I'm a—freezing cold as vell! Jewish humor continues to exploit stereotypes of Jews, both as a sort of "in-joke", and as a form of self-defence. Jewish mothers , "cheapness", hypochondria, and other stereotyped habits are all common subjects. Frugality has been frequently singled out:. It costs at least a dollar!
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What did the waiter ask the group of dining Jewish mothers? Any money that falls outside the circle is for the Lord, and the money that falls inside the circle is for me. I take the offering, throw it up into the air, and pray: A Buddhist monk goes to a barber to have his head shaved. And what do you know, the next day the barber comes to open his shop, and finds on his doorstep a dozen gemstones. That day, a priest comes in to have his hair cut. That day, Rabbi Finklestein comes in to get his payoss [sideburns] trimmed.
A Jewish man lies on his deathbed, surrounded by his children. She says it's for the shiva. Frowning, the mother says, "Go back and tell them you want a speaking role! A Jewish girl bemoans, "Finally, I meet a nice, rich Jewish boy! He's just like papa. He looks like him. He acts like him. Oy vey, mama hates him! After performing a marriage the Rabbi gave some advice to the newlyweds: Or, on parenting from David Bader 's Haikus for Jews:.
A Frenchman, a German and a Jew walk into a bar. Or, on kvetching ,. A Jewish man in a hospital tells the doctor he wants to be transferred to a different hospital. The doctor says "What's wrong? Is it the food? An old Jewish man riding on a train begins to moan: Finally, another passenger gets a cup of water from the drinking fountain and gives it to the old man, who thanks him profusely and gulps it down. Feeling satisfied, the other passenger sits down again, only to hear "Oy, was I thirsty; oy, was I thirsty". A version of that joke is quoted in Born To Kvetch: Many Jewish jokes involve a rabbi and a Christian clergyman, exploiting different interpretations of a shared environment.
Often they start with something like "A rabbi and a priest A rabbi and a Catholic priest are having lunch in a restaurant. The priest attacks his lunch, savoring every bite of the ham. Noticing the rabbi eyeing him, he asks, "So tell me, Rabbi Goldblum, have you ever had any pork before? We're both men of God here. We can tell each other our sins. The rabbi asks the priest: A Catholic priest says to a rabbi, "It seems to me that, since the Creator made pork, He must have made it for some purpose. Therefore, it must be a sin not to use it, don't you think?
So, will you finally eat some pork? A rabbi once asked his old friend, a priest, "Could you ever be promoted within your Church? The priest says, thoughtfully, "Well, I could become a bishop.
I Wouldn’t Leave Home to Go to Heaven
A rabbi is on his deathbed, and a friend asks him if he has any last requests. The Rabbi asks his friend to find him a Catholic priest, so that he might convert. Confused, his friend asks, "Rabbi, why? You have been a great teacher and leader of your followers, and you have led a good and honorable Jewish life. Why would you want to become a Catholic now, before you die? Turning to the priest, the lead police officer said, "Father Murphy, were you gambling? But the dream, and the noise, was so terrific that I woke up. The rabbi said, "Really? Last night, I dreamed of the Protestant Heaven.
It was a nice, proper suburb, with neatly trimmed lawns, and houses all neatly lined up. A Catholic priest is called away by a family emergency one day, while on duty attending confession. Not wanting to leave the confessional unattended, he asks his friend, a rabbi from the synagogue across the street, if he can fill in for him.
The rabbi says he wouldn't know what to do, so the priest agrees to stay with him for a few minutes and show him the ropes. They enter their half of the confessional together and soon enough, a woman enters and says, "Father forgive me, for I have sinned. The woman leaves and not long after a man enters and says, "Father forgive me, for I have sinned. The rabbi tells the priest he thinks he's got it figured out now, so the priest leaves, and the rabbi waits until another woman enters the confessional, who says, "Father forgive me, for I have sinned.
The Jews did not want to leave, and so the Pope challenged them to a disputation to prove that they could remain. No one, however, wanted the responsibility As there was nobody else who wanted to go, Moishe was given the task. But because he knew only Hebrew, a silent debate was agreed.
The day of the debate came, and they went to St. Peter's Square to sort out the decision.
I Wouldn't Leave Rome to Go to Heaven
First the Pope waved his hand around his head. Moishe pointed firmly at the ground. The Pope, in some surprise, held up three fingers. In response, Moishe gave him the middle finger. The crowd started to complain, but the Pope thoughtfully waved them to be quiet.
He took out a bottle of wine and a wafer, holding them up. Moishe took out an apple, and held it up.
This man is too good. The Jews can stay. He explained, "First, I showed him the Heavens, to show that God is everywhere. He pointed at the ground to signify that God is right here with us. I showed him three fingers, for the Trinity. He reminded me that there is One God common to both our religions. I showed him wine and a wafer, for God's forgiveness. With an apple, he showed me original sin. The man was a master of silent debate. First, he told me that this whole town would be free of Jews.
I told him, Go to Hell! Then, he told me we had three days to get out. I told him just what I thought of that proposal. What was it like? However, current events, situations, traditions, and cultural factors which are unique to the country make it hard to understand the joke for someone who is not aware of the events being referred to. In the Stalinist police state , it was not uncommon to get purged not only for telling a casual joke, but even for not reporting it to the authorities.
Rabinovich, what is a fortune? A fortune is to live in our Socialist motherland. And what's a misfortune? A misfortune is to have such a fortune. An old Armenian is on his deathbed: Where were you born?! Where do you live?! Comrade Lev, why now, just when things are getting better for your people, are you applying for an exit visa to make aliyah to Israel? Well, comrade, there are two reasons.
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