Jewish Humor 101
So what makes humor Jewish? Defining it is no easy task, but there are some characteristics that stand out as common to much of Jewish humor. Jewish humor, for instance, laughs at authority and blurs boundaries, such as those between sacred and secular or Jew and non-Jew. It also displays a fascination with language and (often twisted) reasoning. And, not surprisingly, Jewish humor often played the role of coping mechanism. With the anti-Semitism, poverty, and uncertainties Jews faced throughout so much of their history, there often seemed little to do but laugh. So they did. And we are still reaping the benefits of the humor they produced.
While there's a lot to learn about Jewish humor, there's even more to laugh about. Humor is one of those thing you probably need to experience to truly understand. Of course, what's funny to one person is not funny, or even offensive, to the next person--though the world of Jewish humor is broad enough to encompass virtually any taste or opinion. So, smile and enjoy!
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