Friday, October 18, 2013

Israeli Comedy Showcase: Meet Under-Dos, a 100% Kosher Comedy Group


Under-Dos is the name of an Israeli orthodox comedy group which specializes in irreverent sketches on aspects of Jewish life that are hilariously and immediately recognizable to "insiders", that is, religious Jews. "Dos" is an Israeli slang term for someone who is religiously observant.

As Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski reported in Arutz Sheva,
“Our sketches are religiously oriented,” group member Yair Ya’akobi told Arutz Sheva. “This means we take every day situations from the typical religious milieu, we try to take them to extremes and see what happens.”

Ya’akobi emphasized that while many comedy groups essentially make fun of religion, Under-Dos makes sure not to push the limit and not to make fun of the values in which its members and religious viewers believe, but just of the situations that can arise in their lives.

“What we try to do is to be 100% kosher, because it’s easy to push the limits and then you find yourself making fun of the values that you stand for, and we really don’t want that,” he said. “We just look at things from different angles and with a wink.”
Most of the sketches are in Hebrew, spoken so fast that they have Hebrew subtitles. The video below is an exception, because in it no words are spoken. Here's the scene: A young man is headed for shul on Shabbat morning. He gets dressed, then absent-mindedly puts his cellphone into his shirt pocket. 

When he realizes that he has handled a muktzeh (forbidden on Shabbat) object and is about to carry it into the street in his shirt, he panics and tries to remove it without touching it again. In the process he accidentally turns on the TV and from there the situation steadily goes downhill.

So why does he try to turn off the TV with his elbow? He's following the laws of muktzeh, in which the rabbis permit forbidden actions if they are performed in an awkward and unusual manner, as described on the Chabad website:
Many objects have been designated by our sages as Muktzah--we are forbidden from moving them, in some cases, even for activities permitted on Shabbat. Muktzah may not be moved directly with one's hand or even indirectly with an object (such as sweeping it away with a broom). However, Muktzah may be moved in a very awkward, unusual manner, with other parts of the body, e.g.: with one's teeth or elbow, or by blowing on it.
Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

(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.)