Sunday, August 9, 2020

Yiddish Word of the Day - Terms Frequently Misused in Yiddish

As people continue to spend their days and evenings at home, due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the Forverts has launched a daily series of short informal video clips called Yiddish Word of the Day.

The series, written and narrated by Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter, aims to give non-Yiddish speakers an introduction to familiar Yiddish words and phrases and how they might be used in everyday situations. 

 Schaechter, who was appointed the new editor of the Forverts in 2016, is the first woman to helm the paper in its 119-year history, its first editor to have been born in the United States, and likely its first editor who is shomeret Shabbat.

We posted the first of this series in May. Now that the Forverts is continuing the series, we'll be sharing some of the words and phrases as a regular feature of Jewish Humor Central.

Today Rukhl gives examples of Yiddish words that have become so common that they're almost part of the English language. But they're frequently mispronounced or misused.
 
Enjoy!

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Friday, August 7, 2020

After Shabbat Havdalah Service with Cantor Shai Abramson and the IDF Rabbinical Choir


On
Fridays we usually post a musical welcome to Shabbat with a version of Shalom AleichemLecha Dodi, or Adon Olam. But this week we're skipping to the end of Shabbat and continuing the series of Havdalah services that we started a few years ago.

There's a rich lode of musical endings to Shabbat, and Havdalah ceremonies around the world reflect the traditional and local musical tastes of each location.

This is a unique musical havdalah because the Chief Cantor of the IDF, Lt. Col. Shai Abramson, the soldiers of the Military Rabbinate Band and the musical director Ophir Sobol are participating independently, each from his home.
 
Shabbat Shalom and Shavua Tov. Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: "Wonder Years" Bar Mitzvah Episode

The Wonder Years
is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama television series created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black. It ran on ABC from March 15, 1988 until May 12, 1993. The pilot aired on January 31, 1988.

The series stars Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, a teenager growing up in a suburban middle-class family.

It co-stars Dan Lauria as his father Jack, Alley Mills as his mother Norma, Jason Hervey as his brother Wayne, Olivia d'Abo as his sister Karen, Josh Saviano as his best friend Paul Pfeiffer, and Danica McKellar as his girlfriend Winnie Cooper. It takes place from 1968 to 1973 and is narrated by Daniel Stern as an adult version of Kevin.

In this Bar Mitzvah episode from 1989, Paul Pfeiffer and Kevin Arnold's birthdays are just days apart, and the two friends have usually always celebrated together. But this year, upon turning 13 Paul (as per Jewish Tradition), will become a man. The only problem is that Paul's Bar Mitzvah happens to take place on the same day as Kevin's Birthday!

All six seasons with a total of 115 episodes are streaming now on Hulu.

Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  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 5, 2020

"An American Pickle" - Seth Rogen Survives 100 Years in Pickle Barrel


Starting tomorrow, HBO Max subscribers will have access to a new multi-generational comedy titled An American Pickle.

Adapted by Simon Rich from his 2013 New Yorker novella Sell Out, the movie stars Seth Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1919 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family.

One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he learns that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.

If you don't have HBO Max but are an HBO, HBO Go, or HBO Now subscriber, you can get a free upgrade if you follow the (sometimes difficult to follow) instructions.

Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  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 4, 2020

Another Jewish Holiday? Yep, Tomorrow is Tu B'Av, the Holiday of Love



Tomorrow is Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the month of Av, a modern semi-holiday with ancient roots.

Although it is mentioned in the Mishnah as a day on which the women of ancient Israel went out to find husbands, Tu B’Av more or less disappeared from the Jewish calendar for close to two millennia, only to be rediscovered by mainly secular Israelis, seeking a Jewish equivalent to Valentine’s Day in the non-Jewish world. Over the course of the last few years this mid-summer celebration of love has become increasingly popular in Israeli society.

Today most eligible men and women find their own matches through the workplace, the synagogue, summer camp, and, increasingly, Internet dating. In the very Orthodox world, traditional matchmaking is still practiced.

To mark the day, Cantor Hanan Leberman of San Diego's Tifereth Israel synagogue has written a song evoking the spirit of the day.

Enjoy!
 
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Monday, August 3, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "Christian Kid's Wisdom"


Bob Alper is an ordained Reform rabbi from Vermont who served congregations for fourteen years and holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary.

But he's also a stand-up comedian with a twenty-seven year comedy career. He presents wonderfully unique material in a way that's intelligent, sophisticated, and 100% clean.

Since 2010 we have posted 24 video clips of his stand-up routines. Now Bob has launched a new series of daily Quick Laughs that you can subscribe to.

In this Quick Laugh, Bob tells about the unexpected wise response his minister friend got from a student when he asked a question in a church class.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Yiddish Word of the Day: Saying Thanks


As people continue to spend their days and evenings at home, due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the Forverts has launched a daily series of short informal video clips called Yiddish Word of the Day.

The series, written and narrated by Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter, aims to give non-Yiddish speakers an introduction to familiar Yiddish words and phrases and how they might be used in everyday situations.

Schaechter, who was appointed the new editor of the Forverts in 2016, is the first woman to helm the paper in its 119-year history, its first editor to have been born in the United States, and likely its first editor who is shomeret Shabbat.

We posted the first of this series in May. Now that the Forverts is continuing the series, we'll be sharing some of the words and phrases as a regular feature of Jewish Humor Central.

 
Today's word (and a few alternatives) show us a few ways to say thanks.


Enjoy!

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Eishet Chayil by the Hibba Center of Jerusalem



Hibbat HaPiyut (The Love of the Piyyut) project is a huge database of piyyutim (liturgical poems) from the cycle of the year and the life cycle of a person.

The project is shared by the Hibba Center and the Shazar Center of Jerusalem with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture.

In the project you can find clips of young musicians from different ensembles produced by the Hibba Center, in piyyutim clips sung on holidays and celebrations.

Today's video is a performance of Eishet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), a hymn which is not sung in the synagogue, but in many homes after singing Shalom Aleichem and before saying the Kiddush. Traditionally, a husband sings the song to his wife, extolling her virtues, and expressing thanks for all that his wife has done for him and their family. 

An English translation appears below.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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A woman of valor, who can find? Far beyond pearls is her value. Her husband's heart trusts in her and he shall lack no fortune.

She repays his good, but never his harm, all the days of her life. She seeks out wool and linen, and her hands work willingly.

She is like a merchant's ships; from afar she brings her sustenance She rises while it is still nighttime, and gives food to her household and a ration to her maids.

She considers a field and buys it; from the fruit of her handiwork she plants a vineyard. She girds her loins with might and strengthens her arms.

False is grace, and vain is beauty; a G‑d-fearing woman, she should be praised.

Give her the fruit of her hands, and she will be praised at the gates by her very own deeds.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

No Jokes Today - It's Tisha B'Av, a Day of Mourning for the Holy Temples


If you were expecting a joke or a comedy skit today, we're sorry to disappoint you. You'll have to wait until Monday. Today is Tisha B'Av, an annual fast day in Judaism which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel.

The day also commemorates other tragedies which occurred on the same day, including the Roman massacre of over 100,000 Jews at Betar in 132 CE. Instituted by the rabbis of 2nd-century Palestine.

Tisha B'Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, a day in which all pleasurable activity is forbidden, and is marked by synagogue attendance the night before and during the day. But that doesn't mean there's no singing, or more accurately, chanting.

The highlight of the day's service is the chanting of the megillah of Eicha (Lamentations), written by the prophet Jeremiah. Eicha is read in synagogues and in groups meeting indoors and outdoors. The video below shows a large group singing Shir HaMaalot and Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim before sitting on the ground and beginning to read Eicha in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. 

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If Eicha's dirge-like melody and mournful lyrics don't speak to you, there's another musical way to get into the mood. It's the piyut (liturgical poem) Eli Tzion, the last piyut in the Ashkenazi collection of kinot (lamentations).

It's sung here to the tune of The Parting Glass, a traditional Irish folk song, by Noey J, a singer-songwriter who got his start with The Maccabeats.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When Young Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) Wanted to Become Jewish


Young Sheldon is an American comedy television series on CBS created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro. The series is a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory and begins with the character Sheldon Cooper at the age of nine, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school. 

Iain Armitage stars as young Sheldon, alongside Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord, and Annie Potts. Jim Parsons, who portrays the adult Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, narrates the series and serves as an executive producer.

In the 17th episode of Season 2, which aired on March 7, 2019, Young Sheldon takes up violin lessons to be more like Albert Einstein. Noticing the prevalence of Jews like Einstein in physics, he decides to become Jewish himself. He calls a local rabbi who gives him some sound advice.

Enjoy!

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