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19

the question is more cultural than religious. The notion of mayo and white bread plays to the stereotype of the WASPish cuisine as opposed to the traditional eastern-european influenced foods which would have one expect traditional deli fare of pastrami on rye with mustard and maybe a pickle. the issue of dietary law is not at play here.


17

In the Haftorah of Parshas Ki Sisa (Malachim Aleph 18:20-39) when Eliyahu is on Har HaCarmel and he is waiting for the priests of Baal, he watches them as they pray to their god to rain fire upon their sacrifice. When none is forthcoming, Eliyahu tells them (verse 27) to "Call with a loud voice, for he is a god. [Perhaps] he is talking or he is pursuing ...


12

As far as comedy in Jewish history goes: the Gemara, in Taanis (22a), has a story where Eliyahu Hanavi tells Rabbi Beroka Hoza'ah that two particular men would merit the world to come. Upon asking them, the two men said that they were comedians, and that when they see someone who is depressed they try to cheer them up. Also, they said, that they always try ...


8

There is an excellent book by Yehuda Radday and Athalya Brenner, entitled On Humor and the Comic in the Hebrew Bible (JSOTS Series; Continuum International Publishing Group, 1990). I don't have a copy on hand, so I cannot provide you with the relevant page numbers, but the sorts of issues that they explore are whether or not, and to what extent, Jonah is a ...


7

This article, by Professor Gary Rendsburg of Cornell University, provides a number of examples of puns (some of them bilingual) from throughout Tanakh. As you can see from the final page, it is an article within a collection that deals explicitly with this issue. My personal favourite from the ones that he cites, and he cites many, is a Hebrew/Greek ...


7

The Ibn Ezra, in his commentary to Bereishis 2:25, gives the following examples: Bereishis 2:25-3:1: כה וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים, הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ; וְלֹא, יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ. א וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הָיָה עָרוּם, מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים; וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה, אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ ...


6

I know two: I Shmuel 15:14: יד וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל, וּמֶה קוֹל-הַצֹּאן הַזֶּה בְּאָזְנָי, וְקוֹל הַבָּקָר, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ. 14 And Samuel said: 'What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?' Shemot 4:2: ב וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, מזה (מַה-זֶּה) בְיָדֶךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר, מַטֶּה. 2 And the LORD said ...


5

If it is Kosher pastrami and Kosher bread and Kosher mayonnaise there is nothing wrong. It is 100% permissible for one who keeps Kosher to eat.


4

The Gemara (Bab. Pes 117a) reports that Rabbah used to open his Shi'ur with a joke to put everyone in a good mood before starting to learn in earnest and with fear of Heaven.


4

Moshe rabbeinu made a couple, according to Rashi: Shmos 32:18 וַיֹּאמֶר, אֵין קוֹל עֲנוֹת גְּבוּרָה, וְאֵין קוֹל, עֲנוֹת חֲלוּשָׁה; קוֹל עַנּוֹת, אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ. (The dagesh on עַנּוֹת drives the point home.) Bamidbar 21:9 וַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה נְחַשׁ נְחֹשֶׁת Which, according to Rashi, was a bit of a pun. Yeshaya 5:7 וַיְקַו לְמִשְׁפָּט וְהִנֵּה מִשְׂפָּח, ...


4

There is a prohibition of "Ona'at Devarim" - "Verbal Oppresion". This prohibition emanates from two closely placed verses - Vayikra 25:14 and 25:17 that state "Do not aggrieve one another." This article details the applications of "Ona'as Devarim". In summary, the caller expected to make a sale. Your attempting to play jokes on him most likely aggrieved him ...


3

This article from the OU's magazine “Jewish Action” says that there are jokes in the Talmud, “It is related that Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was once asked if there are any jokes in the Talmud, and his response was, “yes, but they’re all old.” Jokes with a “Hechsher” A cursory reading of the Talmud’s text validates that assertion. An informed reading may ...


3

The "Classic" Purim Torah is called "Megillas Sesorim and Maseches Purim". It was printed in 1871.


3

I'll kick off with one of my experiences... One of the first times I went to a religious family for a shabbos meal, at the end of the meal they brought out the mayim acharonim. They didn't have a special mayim acharonim set; they just served it in a teacup. Being the guest, they put it in front of me first. I had no idea what this all meant, and I was ...


3

There is a story about the Gerrer Rebbe, when a fellow came to visit him. The Rebbe asked him "where are you learning"?, and he said "in Ohr Sameach, however I am not a Baal Teshuva". The Rebbe said "Why not"?


3

Adding to Shimon's answer, we need to consider the virtue of Jewish kvetching. In Born to Kvetch, Yiddish expert Michael Wex asserts that a unique aspect of Jewish humor, the kvetch, roots in the Torah. Regarding the nonstop grumbling of the Israelites: They kvetch about their problems and they kvetch about the solutions. They kvetch in Egypt and they ...


2

It is a clear prohibition of Moshav Leitzim (a gathering of scoffers/ session of scorners), Mishneh Berurah 307:59 (Translation from the Feldheim Edition) “Because of the prohibition against participation in a gathering of scoffers.” One certainly transgress this prohibition if he goes to theaters and circuses [which are places of amusement ...


2

Here are two of my favorite: Bamidbar 24:10–11: והנה ברכת ברך זה שלש פעמים׃ ועתה ברח־לך אל־מקומך; you have continually blessed (barekh) them three times. Now flee (b’raḥ) to your place. Devarim 11:16–17: ועבדתם אלהים אחרים … ואבדתם מהרה; lest you serve (va‘avadtem) strange gods … you will quickly be banished (va’avadtem).


2

Just before the 2 angels destroyed Sodom, they asked Lot if he has family members to escape with him. See Bereshis 19:14 וַיֵּצֵא לוֹט וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל חֲתָנָיו לֹקְחֵי בְנֹתָיו וַיֹּאמֶר קוּמוּ צְּאוּ מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי מַשְׁחִית יְהֹוָה אֶת הָעִיר וַיְהִי כִמְצַחֵק בְּעֵינֵי חֲתָנָיו: So Lot went forth and spoke to his sons-in-law, the ...


2

What of Bereishit 29:10 and 11? וַיַּשְׁקְ, אֶת-צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ. וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב, לְרָחֵל And he watered the sheep of Lavan, his uncle. And Jacob kissed Rachel The verbs here are very similar (only the vowels change). This makes it both a pun and a trap for bad baalei kriah.


2

The incident in Megillath Esther in which the king finds Haman pleading for his life to the queen and says, "What, and now you're trying to get at the queen while I'm still in the house?!" (my own, modernized, rough translation) can probably be seen as a bit of dark humor on the part of the king. I think it is pretty clear at that point that the king had ...


2

Although I can not verify this specific story, the Rabbi's of the ger dynasty have always been known for their sharp wit. As the first Rabbi of Ger "was a preeminent disciple of the Kotzker Rebbe" who "was well known for his incisive and down-to-earth philosophies, and sharp-witted sayings. He appears to have had little patience for false piety or ...


1

A Grammen is a kind of song Da Na Da Na Da Na Na! The tune is simple so you can sing a long Da Na Da Na Da Na Na! It doesn't really matter if you put too many syllables into a line Da Na Da Na Da Na Na! You can put in a billion and it will still be fine! Da Na Da Na Da Na Na!


1

This was in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" where the WASPy Diane Keaton character orders it in a New York kosher deli.


1

I'm wondering if אברהם gave 7 sheep to אבימלך as witness that the wells belong to אברהם (Breishis 21:30), and then אברהם and אבימלך swore their treaty, and באר שבע is named because of the swearing (שבועה). I wonder if אברהם picked 7 animals because the word שבע with a סגול sounds like שבע with a פתח, and it's just a play on words. Also ובן משק ביתי הוא דמשק ...


1

I always thought the funniest joke in the Torah is coming right up in Vayera --- starting at Bereishit 19:30, with the punchline at verses 37-38. It seems to me that the story of Lot and his daughters was obviously a (pretty nasty and sick, actually) national joke for Israel/Judah, at the Ammonites' and Moabites' expense. Sure, we're all descendents of ...


1

I don't see why a stand up comedy club is any more an inappropriate venue qua stand up comedy club than Purim shticks or other aspects of Comedy and Jewish Life. However there may be other concerns on a case by case basis such as wasted time, inappropriate dress and/or content, and non-Jew's alcohol. As usual, make your decisions wisely.



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