Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maccabeats Release New Song About Home in New York and Jerusalem


Yeshiva University's a cappella group, the Maccabeats, have built up quite a following among lovers of Jewish a cappella singing. 

Their voices have been prominent among the growing number of music videos that are released before most Jewish holidays.

They have just released a new music video called Home. It's a medley of popular songs combined to express the feeling that home can be in a New York apartment or in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem. It's filmed on a Manhattan rooftop and on the George Washington Bridge in New York and the new Chord Bridge (Bridge of Strings) at the entrance to Jerusalem.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)



(A tip of the kippah to Sheila Zucker for bringing this song to our attention.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Joke to Start the Week - "Problems With My Sex Life"


Last Monday's Joke to Start the Week featured joke teller Max Rosenthal, an 88-year old veteran of a childrenswear business. 

We got so many "likes" and requests for more like it that we went fishing for more gems from Max. We found another joke by him and discovered that he is also an actor. 

Max had a recurring role as a character named Max in the TV series Everybody Loves Raymond, a show written by his son, Phil Rosenthal. He also had roles in two short films.

Here's the setup for today's joke, from the files of Old Jews Telling Jokes:

Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro go to a doctor. The doctor calls in Mrs. Shapiro and says "Mrs. Shapiro, you're fine and your husband is fine, but I have one problem. Your husband tells me that his sex life has a little problem there." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Yiddish Tango is Fusion of Klezmer and Argentinian Tango


The Argentinian Tango emerged from the slums of Buenos Aires, but over the years it absorbed other musical strains as immigrants from other countries came to Argentina. 

Jews from Eastern Europe have been immigrating to Argentina and they brought with them klezmer music that has fused with the tango to create a unique music and dance form...the Yiddish Tango.

As Elizabeth Lee writes in The Jewish Voice,
For Argentine-born Gustavo Bulgach, tango is music with an attitude.
“Tango means the blues. Tango is not just tango - it means - it’s an attitude that you want to express.  In every language, in Yiddish, in Spanish - in whatever language - Tango represents that kind of attitude of losing or having your heart broken by life,” Bulgach says.
Bulgach is the band leader of the Yiddish Tango Club, a group that fuses a form of Jewish dance music known as "klezmer" with Argentine tango.
“Tango is not only Argentinian. It’s a loop from Europe also. It’s like something dramatic, and it’s the count…maybe one, two, three,” says vocalist Divina Gloria.
The band pays tribute to the music of the Jewish immigrants in Argentina.  Bulgach is Jewish, and his family emigrated to Argentina from Russia.  Jewish vocalist Divina Gloria’s family came from Poland.  Yiddish tango evokes memories of her own childhood in Argentina.
Enjoy!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Jewbellish Gives ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a Traditional Jewish Twist


Jewbellish founder and Hasidic comedian Mendy Pellin has taken the ALS Ice Bucket challenge to the next level and has given it a traditional Jewish twist. Why challenge people to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads when you can ask them to douse themselves with a pot of boiling matzo ball chicken soup?

But does the substitution of matzo ball soup for ice water meet the stringencies of halacha, or Rabbinic Jewish law? Mendy and his co-anchor Big Dave Earl Jones search the sources and find that although most commentaries say that if there is no ice it doesn't count, the Loopholer Rebbe says that it's the water that counts and chicken soup is mostly water.

On the Jewbellish web site, Pellin posts a lists of halachic questions and answers about the challenge that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. We're posting the list just below the video. Enjoy!

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Hilchos Ice Bucket Challenge (reprinted from the Jewbellish.com website)
We’ve received several halachic questions regarding various aspects of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and we will address a number of them here.

What is the biblical source for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?
The verse in Twitteriticus (24:7) states, “And it shall be seventh day, when your friend shall calleth upon you to partake in the ice-water ceremony. You shall surely pour the ice-water on your head, or on the head of thou friend who is close to you. For if you shall not pour, you shall incur the wrath of the Lord the scorn of your social media friends and you shall pay one hundred silver coins to the charity of my choosing. And it shall be for an atonement on your soul.”

I have been nominated. How long do I have to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge?
It depends who you are. For the layman 24 hours is the limit. If you need to arrange a helicopter to dump ice on you while you stand on top of a mountain wearing speedos, the American Council of Rabbis grants you an additional 24 hours due to the great pirsumei nisa (publicity) that you are affecting. If you are Ellen Degeneres, better you should wait as long as humanly possible so that every living celebrity under the sun gets down on their knees and begs and pleads for you to do it while pledging tens of thousands of dollars to ALS.

I have seen many videos of people pouring plain water on themselves. Rabbi, is that allowed?
In short, no. One who pours plain water on himself has not fulfilled his obligation. This prohibition can be derived from a careful, detailed examination of the name of mitzvah: Ice Bucket Challenge. The Rabbis derived that ice must be present in the bucket in order to properly do the mitzvah. Otherwise, they argued, it would just be called “The Bucket  Challenge.” Not very compelling.
Reform says warm water is fine also.

Does the ice need to have a hashgacha (a kosher certification)?
Preferably, yes. That has been the custom of the Hassidim. However, according to Rav Moshe, kerach stam is fine also, the reasoning being that the vast majority of ice in the United States is made of water. Most modern-orthodox bucket dumpers have adopted this ruling. This reasoning would obviously not apply to ice manufactured in third-world countries such as Liberia and Canada. God only knows what they put in their ice.
Reforms says anything will do.

Do I need to be clothed to participate, or can I wear a bathing suit?
While according to the strict letter of the law you do not need to be decked out in a tux and bowtie, people that dump the water while wearing bathing suits may be transgressing the rabbinic prohibition of being really lame. Furthermore, people that do it while standing in a bathtub are just cowardly yutzes.
Alternatively, they are Reform.

Does pouring the water on my head really absolve me of the need to give charity?
If you speak very passionately about the ALS cause before dumping water on your head, your friends will assume that you gave money and then you don’t have to actually do it yourself. Better you should give the money to the schnorer in shul.
Reform says you must donate regardless. You also must donate to AIPAC and JNF.

May the video be filmed in vertical mode?
 Absolutely not. Reform agrees.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stand-up Comic Elon Gold Skewers English, Russian, and Israeli Accents


Elon Gold has always been one of our favorite young stand-up comics. A practicing Orthodox Jew who attended Westchester Day School and Yeshiva University High School, he performs for Jewish and for general audiences. 

His Jewish routines tend to be family-friendly, and his general routines not so.

Elon has just released a new collection of his general comedy routines called Chosen and Taken (WARNING: The language is explicit). The audio clips are available individually or as a complete album on Amazon.com.

Some of the video clips are available on YouTube. The one we're sharing with you today is a set of very funny observations about language, specifically about accents from England, Russia, and Israel.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 
 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Israel Defense Forces Choir Sings Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah - A Special Post for Ceasefire on Rosh Hodesh Elul


A few years ago the chorus of the Israel Defense Forces recorded a video performance of Leonard Cohen's signature song Hallelujah. Since we just came across it today we thought it would be an appropriate post on a few levels.

Yesterday and today we are celebrating the start of the Hebrew month of Elul, a day in which we say Hallel, ushering in a month of reflection, repentance, and prayers for forgiveness and mercy. It may be just a coincidence, but we noted that on Rosh Hodesh Elul a ceasefire without a time limit went into effect between Israel and Hamas. We only hope that this time it lasts.

During this coming month the song's composer, poet and singer Leonard Cohen will be celebrating his 80th birthday with the release of his 13th studio album, a collection of his latest songs called Popular Problems.

If you weren't a subscriber to Jewish Humor Central back in October 2009, the first month that we started blogging, you probably didn't see our post of Cohen singing to 50,000 people in the Ramat Gan Stadium in Israel, and it's something worth watching. As a bonus, he ended the concert by giving the crowd the Priestly Blessing, Birkat Kohanim. To see both videos, click here.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hasidic Comedian Yisrael (formerly Christopher) Campbell on Why He Was Circumcised Three Times


Back in October 2009 when we started blogging at Jewish Humor Central, one of our first posts was about Christopher Campbell, a former Catholic who converted to Judaism, changed his name to Yisrael, and went into the stand-up comedy business. We have been following his career and met him briefly while doing research on Jewish humor in Jerusalem last year.

He turned the story of his conversion, especially the three circumsicisons that he underwent, into a one-man show and a documentary which have been performed and shown around the world at Jewish Film Festivals and most recently this month at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

When we attended and reported on the Jewish Week's Funniest Comedian contest last month, we were delighted to see that Yisrael was on the program as a guest comedian. With his permission, we will be running a few excerpts from that show over the next few months, starting with today's video clip in which he explains just why he had three circumcisions.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Joke to Start the Week - "Railroad Apartment"


It's Monday again, and you know what that means. Yep, it's time for another joke to start the week.

Once again we dip into the Old Jews Telling Jokes treasure chest to come up with another winner from Max Rosenthal. 

The 88-year-old veteran of a childrenswear business has been called the king of deadpan humor for his straight-faced delivery of funny short jokes.

Here's the setup for today's joke:

This couple rented an apartment in the midwest from a Jewish landlord near the railroad station. So the next morning the woman runs in to the landlord and she says "This place is terrible. The train came by and the whole house shook." And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Comedy Showcase: Meet Marion Oxenhorn, America's Funniest Grandma


Marion Oxenhorn, a mother and grandmother from Morris County, New Jersey, pursued her dream of becoming a stand-up comedian after she watched stand-up comics and thought to herself, “I could do that.” 

She blends topical humor with wry observations about domestic life. “At a time when most people are retiring, I’ve started this comedy career.” 

Marion is upfront with her audience. “I’m about as small as you can get in the comedy field. No one’s ever heard of me. On the other hand, Jerry Seinfeld is about as BIG as you can get in comedy. Everybody’s heard of Jerry. In fact, Jerry is so famous that when he had a child it was all over the news. But I’m not jealous because I KNOW that if I have a child it’ll be all over the news too!" 

This from a senior citizen who found her funny bone late in life – among other body parts that issued her a wake up call. “When you get older, you develop a relationship with every part of your body. You get a personal pain report every morning.” 

Marion holds her 55 year marriage responsible for fueling much of her material as well as her “unconventional” kids and the aging process. “As you get older food becomes a substitute for sex. Oh, that’s so good , mmmm… You might think we’re having sex, but we’re just eating banana cream pie.” 

Marion performs her stand-up routines at comedy clubs and at senior communities in the metro New York-New Jersey area. Here's a recent performance at Caroline's in Manhattan. 

Enjoy! 

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Musical Showcase: Meet Shir Soul and their a Capppella Rendition of Adon Olam


In addition to introducing our readers to new comedians, from time to time we've been doing the same for new musical groups and highlighting some of their songs. 

Today we're showcasing the songs of Shir Soul, a wedding band and a cappella singing group founded in 2005 by David Ross.

With their eclectic mix of Jewish rock, pop, and soul music, Shir Soul has recorded a few albums and plays at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and other occasions with musical instruments or a cappella.

As we welcome Shabbat tonight, let's listen to one of the familiar renditions of Adon Olam, but with Shir Soul's unique a cappella styling.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!


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