Inspired by Is one allowed to go to a standup comedy show during the 3 weeks?

Is a stand up comedy club an appropriate venue for a Orthodox Jew, even not during the three weeks?

  • 1
    Are you asking based on OC 560:5? If so I think you should include that because otherwise it's unclear where you are coming from.
    – Double AA
    Jul 8, 2012 at 20:32
  • 1
    I'm not sure how anyone can judge the appropriateness of any comedy club without seeing it.
    – Double AA
    Jul 8, 2012 at 20:48
  • 1
    As it is now the answer is "It depends which comedy club." If you want a different answer please edit the question. Otherwise I will post that as the correct answer.
    – Double AA
    Jul 8, 2012 at 22:11
  • 2
    Please post whatever answer you desire, so long you delineate the differences. Jul 9, 2012 at 14:25

2 Answers 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 [שְׂחוֹק] as stated in Avodah Zarah, 18b] or participates in other pastimes. Even on Purim, only merriment that is intended to remind one of the miracles that occurred in the time of Achashveirosh is permitted [M.A.] Nowadays, because of our many sins, some people are completely unrestrained in this matter and go to theaters, despite the fact that Scripture cries out saying, “do not rejoice, Israel, in jubilations.” (Hosheya 9:1) One also transgresses the prohibition against inciting one’s evil inclination if he goes there, and our Sages of blessed memory said, “Whoever scoffs, falls into Geyhinnom, as it is written, etc., and suffers afflictions even in this world, as it is written, ‘and now, do not scoff, lest your afflictions become heavier.”

We also see the Chayei Adam Hilchos T’fillah u’Brachos 63:17

“The Bach wrote in the name of Sefer HaEshkol [to guard yourself from seeing?] hunts of the gentiles, and this is the ruling for their dances or any type of their celebrations. And if you hear the sound of gentile feasting or rejoicing, lament and grieve over the destruction of Jerusalem, and pray to the Holy One blessed be He about this. And about this it is said, “Do not rejoice, Israel, like the exultations of the peoples.” [Hosea 9:1, adapted from Stone Edition Tanach]. Additionally there is with all of this [a prohibition of participating in a] “gathering of scoffers”, and even if it is [held by] Jews. And Chazal said in tractate Avodah Zarah (18a) “Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi expounded, ‘Happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked’ (T’hillim 1:1) this is one who walks to theaters and to circuses (Rashi explains, ‘a palace, and anything when they gather to laugh and scoff.’) ‘And in the path of sinners he does not stand’ (ibid), this is one who doesn’t stand in hunts (Rashi explains, ‘trapping wild animals by means of dogs and any action of their done for laughter or rejoicing.’) ‘And in a gathering of scoffers he does not sit.’ (ibid) he does not sit in their councils.”

Similarly the Aruch HaShulchan 307:9

“And this is the ruling for one who goes to theaters and circuses which are places of amusement and pastime.”

  • I've collected relevant sources here with a little more of my own comments, machzikeihadas.blogspot.com/2009/02/moshav-leitzim.html
    – Yirmeyahu
    Oct 7, 2012 at 19:30
  • Seems like this is relevant here judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8950/759 as well
    – Double AA
    Oct 7, 2012 at 19:57
  • What if the comedy club is hosting a purim shpiel?
    – Double AA
    Oct 7, 2012 at 19:58
  • @DoubleAA, I would understand that moshav leitzim is generally content neutral, i.e. it applies even if the entertainment doesn't have any independent issurim. Nevertheless it seems that insofar as one actually is involved in a mitzvah, moshav leitzim is no longer a problem but one could question the propriety of utilizing an otherwise inappropriate venue.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Oct 7, 2012 at 22:35

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.

  • Source would be appreciated Jul 9, 2012 at 17:41
  • @GershonGold Shulchan Aruch OC 156 and EH 25 while the alcohol issues are discussed in that link.
    – Double AA
    Jul 9, 2012 at 17:44
  • Downvoter: How would you have responded if the question was "Are stores an inappropriate venue for Orthodox Jews?"
    – Double AA
    Jul 9, 2012 at 17:52
  • +1, seems right, but note that the "concerns on a case by case basis such as wasted time, inappropriate dress and/or content" may indeed be concerns applicable to all, or the very vast majority of, cases. (In fact, the answer would be improved if it mentioned as much, IMO.)
    – msh210
    Jul 9, 2012 at 18:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .