My father was not a really nice guy, but he was a salesman and spent a lot of time on the road. Consequently, he had an enormous repertoire of jokes. Some I can’t repeat, not because they are dirty, but because they were mostly in Yiddish and they don’t translate, but others are universal.
That’s the thing about ethnic humor. It really isn’t “Jewish” or “Italian” or any other group. It is human. From group to group, there is often more truth in the jokes we tell about ourselves than in any other form of communication.
The Nature of the Jewish Husband-Wife Relationship
So one day, a surveyor comes to the home of an Orthodox couple and asks if it would be alright if he asked a few questions about male and female roles in the household.
“Sure, why not?” says the Lady of the House.
“My first question is,” says the surveyor, “Which of you is in charge of making the important decisions about your family or do you split them up?”
“Oh,” says the wife. “We are very traditional. I do the unimportant decisions and he takes care of the really important ones.”
“What unimportant decisions do you make?”
“I decide how we will pay the bills, where to send the children to school, whether or not we need to move to a different neighborhood, how we will handle our healthcare, what we will eat, making sure the children learn about God and attend to their religious duties. That sort of thing,” she explains.
The surveyor is puzzled. “So what,” he asks, “are the important things your husband handles?”
The wife smiles. “He decides what relationship God has with mankind, how we achieve peace on earth, and the nature of righteousness.”
Twelve Jews are stranded on a desert island. They are there many years. When finally a ship comes by and they are rescued, the rescuers are surprised to discover that there are 13 synagogues on the island.
The ship’s captain is puzzled. “I can understand,” he says, “why you might have 12 synagogues, but what’s with thirteenth?”
Replies everyone in concert “That’s the one nobody goes to.”
(Note: Whether or not you find this funny depends on your ethnicity.)
An Israeli Joke
An Israeli man who studied in Texas gets an email from his old school mate saying that he’s going to visit Israel and can they get together?
Avi is delighted and prepares to show his country to his Texan friend. But while he’s giving his friend “the tour,” every time he shows something to his friend, the friend says that his father owns, or has built something bigger and better in Texas.
He shows him the Old City in Jerusalem and his friend says “why we’ve got ghost towns on our ranch bigger than that.” When looking at the Sea of Galilee, the Texan comments that “there are puddles bigger than that on our ranch.”
Finally, in near desperation, Avi takes his pal to the Dead Sea.
“You see that?” he says, pointing at the body of water.
“Yup,” says the Texan.
“My father killed it,” says Avi.