Monday, August 31, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "English as a Second Language"

 

Michael Krasny has been telling Jewish jokes since his bar mitzvah, and it’s been said that he knows more of them than anyone on the planet. He certainly states his case in his latest book Let There be Laughter. 

In promoting the book, Krasny has been giving lectures and interviews in which he tells some of the classic Jewish jokes, explaining the cultural expressions and anxieties behind the laughs.

We found some videos of these lectures, and today we're sharing an oldie but goodie. This one was originally told by Leo Rosten, the author of The Joys of Yiddish and The Education of Hyman Kaplan, a book about the experiences of European Jews, just off the boat from the shtetl, trying to learn English in the melting pot of New York.

Here's the setup: A man waits for the bus and then goes to his English class. The teacher asks him to spell the word  "cultivate". And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Yiddish Word of the Day: Getting Angry 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 us five words that describe anger in Yiddish.
 
Enjoy! 

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with a Bluegrass Version of Lecha Dodi

Written by 16th Century Kabbalist Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, Lecha Dodi is a classic erev Shabbat text that has been put to many tunes. This Shabbat, we bring you Lecha Dodi to the melody of a Bluegrass standard, Old Home Place. 

It's performed by Kol Kaḥol, a virtuosic Jewish Bluegrass band that brings a warm, welcoming, and uplifting musical experience to the Kabbalat Shabbat service.

The combination of banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and bass, together with vocals by Ariel Wyner and Sofia Chiarandini creates a version of Lecha Dodi that we haven't heard in shul (or anywhere else).

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Showcase: Myron Cohen on Senior Citizens in Miami Beach

Myron Cohen (1902-1986) was a top nightclub headliner in the 1950s and a frequent guest performer on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s.  

He became famous as a stand-up comedian specializing in jokes told in a heavy Jewish dialect. But offstage, he spoke perfect, cultured English. Unlike many star performers of his time, he was very affable and approachable in public.

His path to comedy started in New York City's garment district, where he worked as a salesman. When calling on customers, before showing his samples, he would tell a joke to put everyone at ease and establish a friendly mood. Cohen’s jokes were often more popular than his garment samples, and his customers urged him to become a professional comedian.

Here's a selection about senior citizens in Miami Beach from Cohen's 1967 record album It's Not a Question, recorded live at the Eden Roc hotel. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Showcase: Buddy Hackett Talks to the Animals

Have we got a Buddy Hackett joke for you! We're big fans of the roly-poly hilarious comedian and have posted many of his sessions on the Johnny Carson Show. 

But it's always a challenge to find his jokes and conversations that are family-friendly for us to share.We keep looking for new posts and we found one! Buddy and Johnny are long gone, but every now and then a video clip comes to the surface. 

Here's an undated quickie from one of his Carson show appearances. In it, Buddy tells of a weary Gypsy traveler who had the ability to converse with animals.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In Coronavirus Times, Street Music Goes On (Masked) in the Streets of Jerusalem

If your visit to Jerusalem includes a stop at the intersection of Jaffa Road and King George Street near Ben Yehuda Street and Zion Square, you'll find yourself at the epicenter of Jerusalem street theater and street music. 

All year long, some of the best singers and performers show up to give the passing crowds a good show.We thought that the coronavirus pandemic would bring an end to this entertainment, but as you can see from this video of the downtown scene last week, busy Jerusalem life isn't taking a break. 

The intersection is as bustling as ever, the only difference being the presence of masks on virtually everyone. We had read about Israelis not paying much attention to the mask and distancing precautions, and were surprised to see the almost universal compliance. 

Soldiers, students, women pushing carriages, Hasidim, and even the ever-present Chabad emissaries promoting the wearing of tefilin, and the lone guitarist, all exercising caution but not wavering from their daily routines.

So take a virtual walk in the streets of Jerusalem, and enjoy the medley of Jewish and Israeli music!

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Monday, August 24, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Most Expensive Barbie Doll"


Another Monday, and another Joke to Start the Week. Today we're bringing you another joke told by David Apfel. 


Now living in Modiin, Israel, David Apfel is an accomplished entertainer and chazzan. He sings in several languages with repertoire ranging from the musicals to opera. He has officiated internationally at several orthodox synagogues and he also specializes in ''Kosher Komedie''.

Here's the setup for today's Joke: Mr. Goldstein goes into the local toy store and asks the man at the counter to show him a doll that he can buy for his granddaughter's birthday. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Yiddish Word of the Day - Narishkeyt

 

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 explains a Yiddish word that mean Nonsense, Foolishness, Stupidity, and gives a few examples of its usage in phrases that can be used in many situations.
 
Enjoy! 

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Friday, August 21, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem by Cantors Erica Lippitz and Eliana Kissner


After another busy week, it's time for another restful Shabbat. Today's Kabbalat Shabbat includes a new version of Shalom Aleichem, the liturgical poem that we sing on Friday evening at home before a traditional Shabbat dinner.

It's the 41st version of Shalom Aleichem that we've posted on Jewish Humor Central. It's sung by Cantors Erica Lippitz and Eliana Kissner and sponsored by the Oheb Shalom synagogue of South Orange, New Jersey.

Cantor Erica Lippitz was one of the first two cantors in the Conservative movement.  

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Eddie Cantor Sings '"By the Light of the Silvery Moon" in 1931

It's another Throwback Thursday and we're turning the clock back 89 years to 1931 when Eddie Cantor was featured in the Max Fleischer's Screen Songs for By The Light Of The Silvery Moon, My Baby Just Cares For Me and Show Me The Way To Go Home. 

Cantor, born Isidore Itzkowitz (1892–1964) was an American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor, and songwriter. Familiar to Broadway, radio, movie, and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters. 

In this video clip, Cantor sings, dances, plays the clarinet and tells a couple of jokes.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Unexpected Traces in Jewish Places: Coronavirus Doesn't Prevent Israel from Celebrating International Yoga Day

In celebration of the sixth annual International Yoga Day, the Indian embassy in Israel organized Yoga sessions across the country.

For the past five years, Israel has celebrated in the thousands. This year amid the pandemic, India's new cultural center in Tel Aviv hosted a small Yoga session, broadcast online.

The center will eventually serve as a space for Israelis and internationals to celebrate Indian culture.

The Press Counselor of the Indian Embassy says that Yoga has tremendous health benefits for the mind and the body and can help to strengthen the immune system.

Namaste!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Comedy Showcase: Sarge Standup (and Sitdown) Comedy on The Jake Ehrenreich Show

Whenever we go to Florida and need a comedy fix we try to catch a performance by Sarge. A world famous comedian, Sarge (Steve Pickman), shares his personal insights with his audience, performing riffs on growing up black and Jewish in Long Island, NY. 

His personal anecdotes on being a black Jew in America give him an extraordinary view on life and give his comedy just the right edge.

In his stand-up comedy performances, Sarge, the author of an autobiography titled Black Boychik, keeps the audience laughing out loud at his unique perspectives in growing up in Great Neck.

Last year Sarge was a guest on The Jake Ehrenreich Show in a performance broadcast on the Jewish Broadcasting System. Ehrenreich, who gained fame with his one man show A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, entertains audiences from the small stage of the Triad theatre and mixes his own comedy and music with interviews of Jewish show business guests.

In this stand-up (and sit-down) set, Sarge touches on his unusual origin story, politically correct racial labels, the difference between Black and Jewish slaves, and differences between Jews and Gentiles.

Enjoy!

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Monday, August 17, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Haircut"

It's another Monday, and time for another Joke to Start the week. Here's another one from author and lecturer Michael Krasny.

Krasny has been telling Jewish jokes since his bar mitzvah, and it’s been said that he knows more of them than anyone on the planet. He certainly states his case in his latest book Let There be Laughter.

In promoting the book, Krasny has been giving lectures and interviews in which he tells some of the classic Jewish jokes, explaining the cultural expressions and anxieties behind the laughs.

We found some videos of these lectures, and today we're sharing another oldie but goodie.

Here's the setup: A barber opens a new barber shop and he's got a spiffy new barber pole. A priest comes in, and he gives the priest a haircut. And then...
Enjoy!
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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Yiddish Word of the Day - Nonsense!

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 explains four Yiddish expressions that mean Nonsense, Baloney, Never gonna happen -- phrases used to dispel a rumor.
 
Enjoy! 

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem by Yosef Goldman

Yosef Goldman is a musician and rabbi, and Co-Director of Hadar's Rising Song Institute.

A sought-after
vocalist, Yosef is a featured vocalist with Joey Weisenberg & the Hadar Ensemble and founding member of the Middle Eastern Jewish music ensemble The Epichorus.

For over a decade he has advised prayer communities seeking to deepen communal spiritual experience through musical prayer.
  

This version of Shalom Aleichem was recorded live at Germantown Jewish Centre in Philadelphia in April 2019 with Joey Weisenberg, Dan Blacksberg and Dan Godwin.

Enjoy, and Shabbat Shalom!

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Showcase: Sid Caesar as an Italian Chef

Foreign doubletalk was one of Sid Caesar's specialties. Today we're turning the clock back to May 27, 1949. Yes, 71 years ago Sid was carrying forth on the Admiral Broadway Revue with his sidekick Howard Morris.

In this full blown sketch comprised of mostly foreign language gibberish, Italian chef Sid teaches his apprentice how to make chicken soup. 

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Special: First Appearance of 2000 Year Old Man on Ed Sullivan Show

The 2000 Year Old Man skit that Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks performed for many years on records and TV began as a joke between the two of them that they shared at parties.

After their first record album became a hit in 1960, they made a TV appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1961. 

We have posted a few versions of the routine on Jewish Humor Central over the years, but today we are sharing their very first performance on Sullivan's show.

Each performance is a treasure because while Reiner had a fixed set of questions that he asked, Brooks always ad-libbed and never gave the same answer twice.

Here is their original sketch from 59 years ago. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tumbalalaika Around the World: Sharsheret WIZO Choir from Sao Paolo, Brazil

The Yiddish folk love song Tumbalalaika originated in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, but its exact origin is hard to pinpoint. 

That hasn't prevented it from being sung and played over and over, not only in places where Yiddish songs are sung, but just about everywhere in the world, in vocal and instrumental versions, in cabarets and in the movies.

Just as we have followed the songs Hava Nagila, Adon Olam, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, and Abanibi as they took different forms as interpreted by a wide variety of singers, musicians, and dancers, we've been posting many interpretations of this universal courting and love song.

 
This version is performed by The Sharsheret WIZO Coral , a female choir which has been active since the 1980s, whose members are volunteers from WIZO São Paulo, a charity for women and children. They are amateur singers, but they have already recorded 6 CDs, with Jewish songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino, and Brazilian songs, in Portuguese and some translated into Hebrew.

Enjoy!

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Monday, August 10, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "Yizkor Miracle"

 
It's another Monday, and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today's joke teller is Rabbi Jack Engel, spiritual leader of Anshei Emuna Congregation, a modern Orthodox shul in Delray Beach, Florida.

Rabbi Jack and his wife Miriam have brought a fresh approach to serving the needs of the Anshei Emuna community. 

They have reinvigorated Anshei Emuna in the ten+ years they have been at the shul. The experiences gleaned from serving in pulpits in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have enhanced their ability to address the diversities of their Jewish community.

They are advocates of a modern Orthodoxy, that is open minded yet adheres to the integrity of Halacha.

While the shul has been closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, Rabbi Jack has been leading a 45 minute topical discussion via Zoom on weekdays that attracts attendees from the U.S., Canada, Israel, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. And he can also tell a good joke.

Here's the setup: Two young men, a Chasid and a learned non-Chasidic scholar wanted to go into business together. So they decided to open a shul. And then...

Enjoy!

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