Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Videos To Celebrate Our First Anniversary!

Jewish Humor Central is one year old today!  When we started this blog on October 5, 2009, we weren't sure that we could keep posting a funny Jewish happening every day (except Shabbat and Jewish holidays) but our brethren (and sistren) rose to the occasion and kept doing funny, silly, and sometimes outrageous things for us to share with our growing readership. 

Now we have readers in 127 countries who have viewed our 338 blog posts more than 60,000 times.  And like the Energizer Bunny, we plan to keep going...and going.

To celebrate this occasion, we're linking to the ten most viewed videos in the past year.  They span a wide range of subjects, from cartoons to holidays to flash mobs to Yiddish cooking to song parodies.  There's even some serious stuff in the mix.  Here are the videos, in traditional countdown format.

In an episode of The Simpsons that has been eagerly anticipated for months, Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family fly to Israel with nerdy neighbor Ned Flanders and his Bible study group.  When Homer visits the Western Wall and many of the popular tourist sites in the Holy Land, you can imagine what might happen.  Well, it does, and Bart, Marge, and company all live up to our highest (or lowest) expectations.  

Shoppers and diners at the food court in the Dizengoff Mall in Tel Aviv were caught by surprise one day last month when 30 of their fellow shoppers and diners, and also shopkeepers and food servers, suddenly started to sing the Anvil Chorus from Giuseppi Verdi's opera, Il Trovatore, accompanied by a recorded full symphony orchestra.

8. More Pesach Parody:  The Passover Seder Symbols Song
Thanks to some deft lyrics writing by Barry Levy, video editing by Iftach Shavit, and piano accompaniment by Brad Ross, we're happy to share some pre-seder fun, and also some contemplation of the significance of the symbolic foods that we'll put on the seder table next week.  We couldn't determine the identity of the singer, but his singing style reminds us of Tom Lehrer.

For any of our readers who may have not seen the 1935 film 
Top Hat, the parody is based on Cheek to Cheek, the classic song from that movie, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.  Enjoy!

7. Hava Nagila Around The World: Thailand Burlesque
We've posted ten eclectic versions of Hava Nagila from all over the world, but none has been viewed as many times as this one from Thailand.
The singer starts out with a few bars of the title song from the film Exodus, and then launches into Hava Nagila.  So sit back, watch, enjoy, and have some laughs.  It's OK to laugh out loud (LOL).  We did!

6. Echoes Of A Shofar:  Illegal Under British Mandate, Now Blown With Pride
Under a British law in Palestine passed in 1930, Jews were forbidden to blow the shofar at the Kotel, pray loudly there, or bring Torah scrolls, so as not to offend the Arab population.

Despite this restriction, for the next seventeen years, the shofar was sounded at the Kotel every Yom Kippur. Shofars were smuggled in to the Kotel where brave teenagers defiantly blew them at the conclusion of the fast. Some managed to get away - others were captured and sent to jail for up to six months.

Six of these men are still alive.  Last month, these six men returned to the scene of their "crime". Armed with shofars, they recounted their individual stories and blew shofar again at the Kotel. 

5. A Musical Review Of Jewish History In Four Minutes
In 1989, Billy Joel's hit song, We Didn't Start The Fire, chronicled the events and leading figures over a 50 year period, from 1949 to 1989.  

Earlier this year, for Israel Independence Day, Adam Drucker took the Shlock Rock parody of the song written by Lenny Solomon in 1991 and added Googled images for each of the events and individuals mentioned in this four minute sweep of Jewish History.  Drucker is the Youth Director of the Stanmore synagogue in northwest London.

We thought it was a good summary of Jewish history, so we're sharing it with you. But don't blink.  If you do, you'll miss a few of the images.  Drucker chose interesting but unconventional ones to illustrate personalities and events in our history.  Some of them may surprise you.  Enjoy!

Earlier this year, Bubby Chanele Gonshor of Montreal visited her granddaughter, Frayda Gonshor Cohen of Berkeley, California, and showed her how to prepare gefilte fish from scratch -- from buying the fish in a store to serving it.  

In this video, Bubby Chanele shows every step along the way, narrating in Yiddish, while English subtitles make it easy to follow even for anyone who doesn't understand the mamaloshen (mother tongue).

International opera star Yevgeni Shapovalov – called “the Israeli Pavarotti” by the media in Israel – formed the THREE TENORS FROM ISRAEL in 2005 with his acclaimed operatic colleagues Felix Livshitz and Vladislav Goray. All originally from the former Soviet Union, Shapovalov and Livshitz now make their homes in Israel, while Goray remains a Ukrainian citizen. Since their 2005 debut, they have given over 100 sold-out concerts in Israel and Europe, delighting audiences with their breathtaking performances, tinged with humor and nostalgia.

2. How To Break A Matzah Exactly In Half
A couple of years ago, the minds at Mantis, an Israeli design company, came up with a foolproof way of using a Japanese tip to break a matzah exactly in half.  If you haven't seen it, it should give you some pre-Pesach laughs and good advice for Yachatz, the breaking of the matzah.  If you have seen it, it's a good refresher course.  But we don't usually put chocolate spread on the broken matzah.  Enjoy!


1.  Passover Time Again In Manischewitzville - A Parody You'll Like
A New Jersey satirist who calls himself Billy Ray Sheet has created a funny Pesach adaptation of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville that we think you'll like.  It meets our high standards in all respects, so we're bringing it to you for your enjoyment as you go through all of the preparations for Passover.  Enjoy!

We hope you've enjoyed this first year of Jewish Humor Central as much as we've enjoyed writing it for you.  Tomorrow we start our second year of bringing you a post each morning to help you start your day with a smile.  We'd appreciate your letting your friends know and inviting them to join our growing community.

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