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The Big Jewish Book for Jews: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Really Jewish Jew Hardcover


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The Big Jewish Book for Jews: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Really Jewish Jew + Jewish as a Second Language: How to Worry, How to Interrupt, How to Say the Opposite of What You Mean + How to Raise a Jewish Dog
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296442
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Successful humorists Weiner and Davilman (Yiddish with Dick and Jane) deliver a new volume in which they outline the basics of being "really Jewish." They explain that within American society, Jewish traditions are either vanishing or evolving into popular culture. From clothing, to names, to sayings, the public at large is adopting elements of Jewish identity historically limited only to Jews which, in the view of the authors, is having an impact on the meaning of sacred traditions and practices. As an alternative to the growing trend, the authors school today's Jewish youth in embracing their heritage with detailed lessons in cooking far too much food for gatherings, delivering back-handed compliments, and many other "Jewish" traditions. With a heavy dose of sarcasm and practical charts and guides on a range of topics (how to use the Bible to tell if your wife is unfaithful; how to be passive-aggressive; how to not accept the first table you're shown at a restaurant), this treatise manages to be both hilarious and sincere.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ellis Weiner was an editor of National Lampoon and a columnist for Spy. He has written humor pieces for many publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, Air & Space, and Modern Humorist. He is the author of Yiddish with Dick and Jane (with Barbara Davilman), The Joy of Worry (illustrated by Roz Chast), Decade of the Year, Letters From Cicely, and The Northern Exposure Cookbook, and is the co-author (with Sydney Biddle Barrows) of Mayflower Manners.


Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman are publishing veterans and have written many successful humor books, including Yiddish with Dick and Jane. Davilman is a writer-producer for reality television. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mish G. on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What, again with Amazon Schmamazon hoching me to review something, as if I didn't have enough to do already, just in case you ask?

Now, if you did not fully understand the delicately nuanced subtext of what I just said--that I'm pleased that Amazon invites its customers to share their opinions on its retail products and I'm quite happy to offer mine--then "The Big Jewish Book for Jews" is your introduction and your guide to the hermeneutics of Jewish-American thought, culture, and behavior. What, you were expecting maybe hermaneutics?

"TBJBFJ" is hilarious, but amid all that plotzing with laughter you'll recognize the larger and, dare I say, deeper meaning and context of what it is that constitutes Jewishness--not Judaism, but Jewishness, which is something else altogether. Authors Davilman & Weiner really nail it on every count, from how to over-cook (not as in "well-done," but "preparing far too much food") to how to act with humility (you should be so lucky to learn).

This should be on everyone's Chanumas gift list. And if Chelsea Clinton didn't receive a copy at her bridal shower before she married that nice Jewish boy, somebody should give her one. Nu, what are you waiting for??
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Zucker on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is another hilarious, albeit wise book from a couple of the funniest writers in America today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cookie on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is probably funnier if the reader is Jewish--so many "in" jokes--but the title of the book says it best.......I started to read it while traveling by plane and had to put it down--my (loud) laughter was disturbing my seat mates..........I do find myself reading parts of it over and over and then quoting parts of it to friends...........the authors really "nailed it" in so many ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MIKHAIL VERSHKOV on January 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes hilarious, sometimes pretty serious but generally wonderful, helping to restore the Jewish identity and to have some very Jewish comic relief.
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By steller feller on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my friend who was curious about the jewish faith. seeing that I am not a Jew I thought it may help him
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By C. D. Varn on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While this book is funnier if you are a) Jewish and b) grew up in a Jewish community in the Northeast of the US, this book is fairly hilarious and yet insightful for key bits of Jewish cultural mentality. Covering both points of Jewish religion and the Jewish culture of the US post-War 2 but pre-1970s, it is a useful book as one laughs one's way into cultural literacy.
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By Kent London on November 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book was good but extremely focused, as the title suggests, to Jews. Some things were just not applicable for the average reader. Read great though, with much humor.
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By Ms. S. on November 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book because the cover looked fun. In reading this book I laughed so hard my side's ached. Really the funniest read I have had in a long while. I highly recommend this book when you just need to be thoroughly entertained.
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