Monday, October 5, 2009

Jewish Jokes: Oy and Oy Vey

David Minkoff has probably compiled more Jewish jokes than anyone on the internet or in the universe. Last month his second "ultimate complilation" of Jewish jokes, "Oy Vey: More" was published by Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press in hardcover.

With 459 pages and over a thousand jokes, there is something here to please everybody and something to make everybody groan. Just a random sampling:

Chanukah cards
Sadie is in Israel on holiday and goes to the post office to buy some stamps for her Chanukah cards. "Can I have 50 Chanukah stamps please?"
"Of course," says the clerk, "what denomination?"
"Oy veh," says Sadie, "has it come to this already? OK, give me 14 Liberal, 28 Reform Orthodox stamps please."

A question for the rabbi
Rabbi, am I permitted to ride in an airplane on shabbes as long as my seat belt remains fastened? Surely it can then be considered as if I'm wearing the plane?

And so it goes, with topics including romance, family fortunes, medical jokes, life and death, people and professions, matters of faith, and even a few pages of child-friendly jokes.
Both books will give you one-liners, gags, riddles, and shaggy dog stories to share with family and friends, if you can get used to the British inflections and conventions such as money in pounds instead of dollars and British spellings and usage. Some of the jokes are a bit off-color, such as What brocheh does one say before taking Viagra.

The first book, Oy: The Ultimate Book of Jewish Jokes is now out in paperback. I keep a few copies on hand to give as get-well gifts to friends who have been hospitalized. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I include a fake prescription blank recommending two jokes three times a day and three jokes just before bedtime. It works wonders!

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