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Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews Paperback – August 19, 1998
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From Kirkus Reviews
Rabbi Telushkin (An Eye for an Eye, 1991), rooted in the tradition of reverence for past learning, has gathered lots of hoary jokes and aged wisecracks, together with a few more recent japes, that make Jews laugh. To coreligionists, they'll seem like old friends; to others, the gags and their elucidation may be more in the nature of revelation. Another book of ethnic gags? Hold the cry of ``gevalt!'' because Telushkin has an unstated agenda. True to his calling, he uses the funny stuff to instruct. In this collection (in which some bits are, naturally, funnier than others), everything stands for something else--but all of it carries explanations. The exegesis of the jokes becomes a little primer on a religion and a way of life mystifying to strangers and sometimes just as puzzling to nominal adherents. It's a truism that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle applies to humor--observing and analyzing it alters it. That effect can be seen here as Telushkin trots out Jackie Mason and Sigmund Freud, as well as Leo Rosten and a host of Unknown Comics for a higher purpose. The tales of the wise rabbis, the fabled fools of Chelm, the anti-Semites, the schnorrers, and the big shots all serve to illustrate his lessons. Was the shtetl a forerunner of Catskills on Broadway? Why are comedians so often Jewish? Why are Jews so often comedians? Why ask questions? Just listen to the rabbi and his jokes. Fine, funny fare for Jew and non-Jew alike. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Joseph Telushkin is a rabbi, scholar, and bestselling author of eighteen books, among them A Code of Jewish Ethics and Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. His book Jewish Literacy is the widest-selling work on the topic of Judaism. He lives with his wife, Dvorah, in New York City, and lectures regularly throughout the United States.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lb. for lb.,Telushkin is the hippest rabbi I can think of(I'm a non-Orthodox Jew who attends services at a Conservative synagogue);I'd rate the late Abraham Joshua Heschel,second.Telushkin has written pretty terrifically on the widest range of subjects to rate him otherwise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A pleasure to read.