Wednesday, April 17, 2024

An ABBA Musical Passover Tribute by Six13 - "Matza Pizza"

Anchored by a strong Jewish identity and driven by a mission to connect Jews around the globe with their heritage through music, professional Jewish a cappella group Six13 are the originators of today's Jewish a cappella sound. 

They've performed to rave reviews at the White House and ten of thousands more at synagogues, religious schools, JCCs, fundraising events, B'nai Mitzvah and private affairs alike. They’ve appeared all over mainstream media, received numerous awards for their eight best-selling CDs, been selected as finalists for casting in NBC's "The Sing-Off", and garnered more than 20 million views online.

Now Six13 has released a new musical video for Passover based on ABBA's greatest hits, including Dancing Girl, Take a Chance on Me, A Man After Midnight, and Mamma Mia

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Moses Isn't in the Haggadah: A New Song for Passover

In six days, Jews all over the world will get together with their families and friends and open their Haggadot for the Passover seder. 

Is it really true that Moses isn't in the Haggadah? Well, not exactly. His name appears explicitly in the section of the Haggadah in which Rabbi Yossi the Galilean argues that since the “finger of God” was used to inflict 10 plagues, now that the “hand of God” (five fingers) was raised against the Egyptians, they actually suffered fifty plagues at the Red Sea.

Here is the verse: “And when Israel saw the great hand which the Lord had wielded against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord; they had faith in the Lord and His servant Moses” (Ex. 14:31).

But the tradition remains that Moses does not appear in the Haggadah to teach us that God deserves all the credit for taking us out of Egypt.

Eliana Light, a songwriter and performer of catchy, content-rich tunes for all ages, has just released a new YouTube video with the campers and staff of Camp Ramah Darom called Moses Isn't in the Haggadah. It's a worthy addition to the growing collection of popular tunes that get added to the seder every year.

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 15, 2024

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Atheist and the Bear"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today Mickey Greenblatt is back with another good one.

Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt received degrees from Columbia (BA and BS in Flight Sciences), a DC from Von Karman Institute (1963) and his PhD from Princeton in Aerospace Sciences. He worked as a researcher for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. 

With four other scientists, he founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which invented microwave-powered UV lamps for drying coatings. He founded and served on the boards of technology companies and is active in volunteer work. He served on the executive committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington for many years.

Mickey also loves Jewish jokes and sent us this one to share with you. Here's the setup: Morris Goldstein was born Jewish but he'd become an Atheist. Nature was his god. One day he's out walking in the woods. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

A Prayer for the State of Israel by IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson

As Israel reacts to the unprecedented Iranian attack on the country today, we join Am Yisrael worldwide in the Prayer for the State of Israel as sung by Shai Abramson, Chief Cantor of the Israel Defense Forces. 

This prayer was recorded on the 55th anniversary of Israel's reunification of Jerusalem.

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Friday, April 12, 2024

Welcoming Shabbat with Ana Bekoach Sung by Shulem Lemmer

It's Friday again and time to welcome another Shabbat. Today we're sharing another rendition of the Kabbalistic prayer Ana Bekoach.

The singer is Shulem Lemmer.

Raised in Boro Park, Brooklyn, Shulem’s singular voice has gained widespread attention in the Chasidic community and beyond. Shulem made history as the first born-and-raised Orthodox singer to ever sign a major record deal in the U.S. His recent contract with Universal Music’s Decca Gold Label positions him as an artist primed to break through to a global audience with the release of his album, The Perfect Dream.  

One of the most sought-after Jewish singers today, Shulem has performed in front of a wide range of audiences across the Jewish spectrum as well as those of other faiths. Shulem provides an authentic taste of Jewish music and culture with his proud Jewish appearance and style.

He performed the National Anthem at San Francisco Giants Stadium and G-d Bless America at Fenway Park and Citi Field.

Ana Bekoach is a liturgical poem from the Kabbalat Shabbat service that appears in the siddur just before Lecha Dodi. It's a Kabbalistic prayer composed by Rav Nehunia Ben Hakannah.

Known as the 42-letter Name of God, Ana Bekoach is a unique formula built of 42 letters written in seven sentences of six words each. Each of the seven sentences correspond to the seven days of the week, seven specific angels, and to a particular heavenly body. The letters that make up Ana Bekoach are encoded within the first 42 letters of the book of Genesis.

The kabbalists explain that this combination of letters takes us back to the time of Creation, and each time we meditate on a particular sequence, we return to the original uncorrupted energy that built the world. By performing the Ana Bekoach meditation, we enrich our lives with unadulterated spiritual light and positive energy.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Tumbalalaika Around the World: As Sung by Jimmy Kelly and the Kelly Family

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're continuing the series today that we started back in 2012, sharing our 23rd version of this universal courting and love song.

This rendition of Tumbalalaika was recorded by Jimmy Kelly and the Kelly Family.

The Kelly Family is a European-American music group consisting of a multi-generational family, usually nine siblings who were joined occasionally on stage in their earlier years by their parents. They play a repertoire of rock, pop, and folk music, and sing in English, Spanish, German, and Basque. The group had chart and concert success around the world, predominantly in continental Europe - mainly in Germany, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Portugal - and some in Ireland. 

They have sold over 20 million albums since the early 1980s and were ranked as the 6th most popular music act in Germany in the 1990s. Despite their American origins, the group is virtually unknown in the United States.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Showcase: Rogue Computer Foils Temporary Office Workers

Candid Camera was an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947.

After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948, and continued into the 1970s. 

The show involved concealing cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catchphrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."

Peter Funt joined the show professionally in 1987 when he became a co-host with his father. During this time the show was being broadcast on the CBS television network. In 1993, Allen Funt had a serious stroke, from which he never fully recovered. This required Peter to host the show full-time. 

The show went through a few revivals. During his time on the show Peter was a producer, host and acted on the show. He also produced and hosted over 200 episodes.

In this classic episode from 2000, the Candid Camera crew rigged an office so that a staffer in an adjoining room was able to override typing done by office temporary workers, changing original words to inappropriate ones.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

CNN Anchor Jake Tapper Talks About Passover and a One Man Seder in Ukraine

In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, CNN anchor Jake Tapper reminisced about his trip to Ukraine where he interviewed president Vlodomyr Zelenskyy and gave him a box of matzot for Passover.

Tapper explained that it was the first time he didn't have a seder for Passover, but the local Chabad rabbi gave him the seder essentials in a box so he could have a one-man seder in Ukraine.

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 8, 2024

A Joke to Start the Week - "Psychotics, Neurotics, and Psychiatrists"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today we're sharing a joke by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (YY) Jacobson, one of America's premier Jewish scholars in Torah and Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Jacobson, an American Chabad rabbi from Monsey, New York, is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world today, lecturing to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on six continents and in forty states, and serving as teacher and mentor to thousands across the globe. 

He is considered to be one of the most successful, passionate and mesmerizing communicators of Judaism today, culling his ideas from the entire spectrum of Jewish thought and making them relevant to contemporary audiences. 

He served as editor-in-chief of the Algemeiner Journal, and as a choizer (transcriber) for Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

He also loves to tell jokes, and here's the setup: Someone asked me what's the difference between psychotics, neurotics, and psychiatrists. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

Comedian and Actor Michael Rapaport Skewers Hollywood and Oscars in Eretz Nehederet Skit

Last month comedian and actor Michael Rapaport appeared on Israeli TV in Eretz Nehederet (sometimes known as Israel's Saturday Night Live) in an English language skit satirizing the hypocrisy of Hollywood stars and their silence regarding the Hamas attacks of October 7.

As Jessica Steinberg wrote in The Times of Israel,

As he cracks jokes at the celebrities for not denouncing the Hamas-led onslaught in which Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took 253 hostages, the camera pans the audience, showing the familiar actors, directors and faces of the Oscars ceremony crowd, using footage from previous awards shows.

He introduced several new categories to the awards show, starting with “best actor who has made millions playing a stereotypical neurotic Jew with back hair yet still won’t show some solidarity.” The nominees were Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler and Larry David.

He also took a shot at female actors who were vocal supporters of the MeToo and Time’s Up movements against sexual assault but don’t advocate for female hostages abused by Hamas terrorists.

Enjoy!

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Friday, April 5, 2024

Welcoming Shabbat with V'Shamru at Hamakom Synagogue in Los Angeles

Cantorial Soloist Jenni Asher leads the V'shamru prayer at the Zamru Musical Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Hamakom Synagogue in Los Angeles on March 1, 2024. 

Hamakom is a center of Jewish life that provides meaning and purpose for Jews of the West San Fernando & Conejo Valleys. It's a vibrant and dynamic Jewish community – a neighborhood – in which the synagogue is a sacred center, a communal home, and hub for its members and all others who wish to grow their Jewish identities, spirit, and communal connections.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Comedy Special: Modi Rosenfeld on Easter and Passover

Modi Rosenfeld is one of our favorite young comedians and we've posted many of his stand-up comedy routines and skits. 

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Modi Rosenfeld moved to New York City with his family when he was 7. Before entering comedy, he was a Wall Street international banker. He now goes solely by the name Modi and is known for creating accents and characters.

Modi has a wide range of funny persona. Sometimes he appears as a Chasid in full black dress, other times as a typical Jewish stand-up comic, and others as a non-denominational general comedian. In this video clip, an excerpt from his new show, Know Your Audience, Modi shares some funny observations about Easter and Passover.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Remembering Steve Lawrence, Nightclub, TV, Recording Star and Actor for More Than 50 Years

Steve Lawrence, who was born Sidney Liebowitz on July 8, 1935 and enjoyed a 50 year performing career, died on March 7 in Los Angeles of complications of Alzheimer's disease.

The son of a cantor at the Brooklyn synagogue Beth Sholom Tomchei Harav, he was best known as a member of the pop vocal duo "Steve and Eydie" with his wife Eydie Gormรฉ, and for his performance as Maury Sline, the manager and friend of the main characters in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Steve and Eydie first appeared together as regulars on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 and continued performing as a duo until Gormรฉ's retirement in 2009.

As Robert D. McFadden wrote in The New York Times,

The Liebowitz boys were all musically gifted. By 8, Sidney was singing in a synagogue choir, and by 12 he was composing songs. He dropped out of Thomas Jefferson High School before graduation to sing in bars and nightclubs.

He began calling himself Steve Lawrence, the given names of two nephews. He won “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” at 15 and sang for a week on Godfrey’s morning radio show.

Billed as “Steve and Eydie” in Carnegie Hall concerts, on television and at glitzy hotels in Las Vegas, the remarkably durable couple remained steadfast to their pop style as rock ’n’ roll took America by storm in the 1950s and ’60s.

Long after the millennium, they were still rendering songs like “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” “Just in Time” and “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)” for audiences that seemed to grow old with them.Record sales put him in the top ranks of America’s pop singers in the early 1960s, and despite competition from rock groups, his club and concert dates with Ms. Gorme remained enormously popular.

As a tribute to the class act of Steve and Eydie, we're sharing a long medley of music by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart or Oscar Hammerstein. Songs: The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Falling In Love With Love, A Wonderful Guy, I Married An Angel, Where Or When, My Heart Stood Still, Blue Moon, Manhattan, Isn't It Romantic, Glad To Be Unhappy, It Might As Well Be Spring, Spring Is Here, It Never Entered My Mind, Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered, My Romance, My Funny Valentine, With A Song In My Heart.

With special thanks to Buzz Stephens for posting this video on YouTube.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Modi Rosenfeld at the 92nd Street Y - "How I Became a Comedian"

In a special interview in February at the 92nd Street Y, we step into the world of stand-up comedian Modi who is joined by author, comedian, and co-host of his podcast, Periel Aschenbrand as they navigate the complexities of finding light and joy in the midst of rising tensions and antisemitism. 

In an excerpt from the interview, Modi shares the story of how he left the world of finance to start a career as a comedian.

Click here to see the full hour interview.

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 1, 2024

A Joke to Start the Week - "Perlmutter Makes a Big Sale"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today Mickey Greenblatt is back with another good one.

Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt received degrees from Columbia (BA and BS in Flight Sciences), a DC from Von Karman Institute (1963) and his PhD from Princeton in Aerospace Sciences. He worked as a researcher for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. 

With four other scientists, he founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which invented microwave-powered UV lamps for drying coatings. He founded and served on the boards of technology companies and is active in volunteer work. He served on the executive committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington for many years.

Mickey also loves Jewish jokes and sent us this one to share with you. Here's the setup: A Chinese man walks into Sidney Perlmutter's store to buy some bras. Black bras, size 38. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 31, 2024

Yiddish Word of the Day - "Eclipses and Other Celestial Events"

In 2020 the Forverts 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 2020. Now that the Forverts is continuing the series, we'll continue sharing some of the words and phrases as a regular feature of Jewish Humor Central.

A full solar eclipse is coming on April 8. Now you can learn the Yiddish terms for "solar eclipse," "lunar eclipse" and other celestial phenomena!

Enjoy!

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Friday, March 29, 2024

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam by Kedma: The Rising Song Piyyut Project

Kedmah is an ensemble of musicians and prayer leaders excavating the power and beauty of Mizrahi Jewish expression through ancient poetry and song. Their debut album, Simu Lev, is currently in production, and this video of Adon Olam is the first glimpse of the project.

Led by Rabbi Yosef Goldman and Yoni Avi Battat, Kedmah honors the artists’ Iraqi, Syrian, and Yemenite ancestry in conversation with their intersecting musical influences. Their interactive performances, workshops, and recordings allow listeners to experience the spiritual and emotional depth of Middle Eastern piyyut (liturgical poetry) and the ages-old tradition of Arab melodies that adorn them. Part educational initiative, part performance group, the social and pedagogical impact of this project is strengthened by a commitment to musical creativity, historical accuracy, spirituality, and public performance at the highest level.  

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, March 28, 2024

Hasidic Comedian Mendy Pellin Reflects on His Comedic Roots in a Self-Biographical Monologue

Mendy Pellin is our favorite Chasidic comedian. We've been running his shtick for 14 years, and he keeps inventing new routines, from his Mendy Report on Chabad TV to the comedy midrash he created on the Jewbellish site that he co-founded.

Now Pellin has posted a monologue on YouTube in which he narrates his autobiography to the camera, telling us how he got started in comedy and how he has been able to turn his penchant for humor into a full-time occupation.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Special: Cosmetic Surgeon for Dogs - A Candid Camera Classic

Candid Camera was an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947. 

After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948, and continued into the 1970s. 

The show involved concealing cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catchphrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."

Peter Funt joined the show professionally in 1987 when he became a co-host with his father. During this time the show was being broadcast on the CBS television network. In 1993, Allen Funt had a serious stroke, from which he never fully recovered. This required Peter to host the show full-time. 

The show went through a few revivals. During his time on the show Peter was a producer, host and acted on the show. He also produced and hosted over 200 episodes. 

In this classic episode from 2000 Peter posed as a cosmetic surgeon for dogs at a dog grooming salon in Los Angeles. Watch as he tries to sell dog owners on tummy tucks and eyelid surgery for their pets.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

An English Version of Hatikvah with Current IDF Footage from Israel

We have posted many versions of Hatikvah, Israel's national anthem over the years, but this is the first one in English, an exact translation of the Hebrew words.

The English words are shown over video images from the current war in Gaza in honor of the courageous men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Jews everywhere.

Am Yisrael Chai!

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Monday, March 25, 2024

A Joke to Start the Week - "Waffles and Spaghetti"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today we're sharing a joke by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (YY) Jacobson, one of America's premier Jewish scholars in Torah and Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Jacobson, an American Chabad rabbi from Monsey, New York, is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world today, lecturing to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on six continents and in forty states, and serving as teacher and mentor to thousands across the globe. 

He is considered to be one of the most successful, passionate and mesmerizing communicators of Judaism today, culling his ideas from the entire spectrum of Jewish thought and making them relevant to contemporary audiences. 

He served as editor-in-chief of the Algemeiner Journal, and as a choizer (transcriber) for Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

He also loves to tell jokes, and here's the start of one: "What's the difference between men and women kabbalistically?  Men are waffles, women are spaghetti..."

Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Happy Purim! Join Us in Celebrating with a Purim Song in Yiddish by Litvakus

Renowned Eastern European clarinetist, pianist, and composer Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch presents a uniquely thrilling klezmer experience with his new quintet Litvakus, which brings to soaring life the often overlooked Belarusian and Litvak (Belarusian-Lithuanian) Jewish musical heritage. 

Litvakus is reaching out to the modern audiences worldwide, making the old sound new and fresh, meaningful and hip.

Makhts Of - Open Up! is a traditional Yiddish song produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in collaboration with Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York City), In this video Litvakus introduces the main characters of the Purim story.

The performers are Zoรซ Aqua, violin; Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, bass; Joshua Camp, accordion; Zisl Slepovitch, clarinet, gragger, vocals;  Sam Weisenberg, poyk (drum)

Enjoy, and have a Happy Purim!

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Friday, March 22, 2024

Welcoming Shabbat with V'Shamru at Sinagoga Shalom in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Today we join the Sinagoga Shalom in Sao Paulo's Shalom Community to welcome Shabbat in a Kabbalat Shabbat service with the singing of V'Shamru.

The fundamental objective of the Shalom Community in Sao Paulo, Brazil is to create a Kehilat Kodesh, that is, a religious community that can provide support and encouragement to the spiritual quest of many who seek a space to grow spiritually and progress Jewishly. The synagogue is dynamic and alive, in the permanent search for meaning within Jewish values.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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.