Is there scriptural evidence, from the Tanakh (not Talmud) that humor is an attribute of G-d? If so, can a chapter or verse be cited?

  • 2
    Is this different from jokes in Tanach?
    – Scimonster
    Feb 2, 2016 at 22:02
  • I'm closing this per the comment exchange on the answer. Ephraim, if you edit it to clarify exactly what you seek and how it's different from the preexisting question, it can certainly be reopened. I don't want lots of people posting lots of answers that are not actually what you're looking for and that go in all sorts of directions: that doesn't help you and it doesn't help future seekers for specific things.
    – msh210
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:06
  • @msh210 How is G-d having a sense of humor, as it were, in any way the same as there being jokes in Tanach?
    – Loewian
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:01
  • @Loewian, the answer below gives examples of jokes, and the OP commented that he seeking stuff from Tanach. So he seems to be happy with jokes as an answer but wants them to be from Tanach. (And God's having a sense of humor would be evinced by the jokes in Tanach, I guess.) But I await his edit if I'm mistaken.
    – msh210
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:05
  • @msh210 Actually, it seems pretty clear he's looking for (explicit?) Scriptural references to divine humor, so still not a duplicate.
    – Loewian
    Feb 3, 2016 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


Jewish action deals with the question Does God Have a Sense of Humor? and says that humor is an essential part of the Talmud. Rabbi Hershel Schachter (Nefesh HaRav, p. 69) cites Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik as suggesting that the statement is important for the mitzvah of vihalachta biderachav (following in God’s ways)

we are told approvingly that Rabbah, prior to beginning his lecture, would open with a milta dibidichuta, a humorous remark. As a result, his students, notably described as “rabanan” (which would counter the notion that such a method is only necessary or appropriate for children) had their “hearts opened” to learning. The Talmud practices as it preaches. 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.”

A cursory reading of the Talmud’s text validates that assertion. An informed reading may yield that jokes are not only present in the Talmud, but abundant. The Talmud’s pun in reference to bedikat chametz (Pesachim 9b) is well-known; finely-tuned eyes have uncovered many more, as documented in an extensive article in the Bar-Ilan journal Badad. (Binyamin Engleman, “Humor Mutzhar, Galuy vi-Samuy bi-Talmud Bavli,” Badad, vol. VIII (winter 5759)). As the author of that article, Binyamin Engleman, notes, the message is twofold: that the sages of the Talmud were capable of joking and, more significantly, that these jokes were worthy of memorializing in the Talmud itself (as he puts it, “jokes with a hechsher”).

  • 1
    I don't see how this answers the question which asks specifically about G-d's humor directly being mentioned somewhere.
    – DanF
    Feb 2, 2016 at 22:28
  • I was hoping for Tanakh examples. I wouldn't be surprised to find Talmudic humor.
    – Ephraim
    Feb 2, 2016 at 22:42
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    @Ephraim If you were hoping for Tanach examples, then the answer to Scimonster's question (in a comment on your question post), "Is this different from jokes in Tanach?", would seem to be "No" and this question is a duplicate of that question. Right?
    – msh210
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:04
  • No, I wouldn't consider this a duplicate. I'm not asking about jokes, I'm specifically asking if humor is an attribute of G-d and if there are Tanakh references to show this.
    – Ephraim
    Feb 4, 2016 at 0:37
  • @Ephraim I think that you now have two separate quesions. The frirst "Does Hashem have a sense of humor?" I deal with here. The second "Are there explicit Tanach references to the sense of humor?" would be dealt with in the other question. Are you asking if Tanach says "Hashem has a sense of humor." Feb 4, 2016 at 14:23

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