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Yiddish Dictionary

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Bubby's Jewish Zen Humor

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It is the sound of one Jew kvetching. It is the essence of years of cultural thought and emotion, distilled into a short joke. It is a philosophical lesson or point, told with a laugh. This is what I have named "Jewish Zen Humor." Although funny at face value, these jokes contain many subtle layers which when peeled away, invite further philosophical examination. Understanding of the Jewish experience adds many levels of meaning. There is a certain wry, intellectual quality to this kind of humor, which is unique to the Jewish culture. Traditionally, Jews have used humor to cope with alienation, tragedy and abuse they've suffered at the hands of others. Laughing at ourselves is as steeped in the Jewish culture as chicken soup and matzo balls. In fact, usually when telling them, non-Jews sit there scratching their heads, not understanding why the Jews in the group find them wildly hilarious. I hope you enjoy some of these jokes which I've collected over the years. Please, read and discuss amongst yourselves, and share any good ones of your own via the forum.

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Like these jokes? Please help support this website
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The Cruise

Maxie Greenbaum was 87 years old, God bless him, and the Catskills were the farthest he ever traveled since he landed in this country 70 years ago. One day he decided that before he dropped dead, he should live a little. He decides he's going to take a vacation.

He takes out his bankbook and he sees he's got only $58.62. Oi! Not even enough for the mountains, even, but, Maxie sits down to read the travel section of the Daily News, because you just never know. Sure enough, a small ad says "Cruise to the Caribbean: Special Today. Just $58.62! Hurry. Space limited."

Well, Maxie is thrilled. He calls up the travel agent and finds out there's just one more place left and the boat is leaving in a half an hour. So, Maxie throws a few pairs of Bermuda shorts, his swimming trunks, some nose cream, sandals and socks into a valise and runs down to the travel agent's office.

When he gets there, the agent tells him. "You're just in time. The boat leaves any minute!" He takes Maxie by cab down to the dock. The taxi pulls up to the pier and a gigantic, bare-chested man with big muscles grabs Maxie out of the cab, throws his suitcase into the water, drags him down to the bottom of the ship, locks him up in chains, shoves a pair of oars into his hands, cracks a long, leather bullwhip at him and screams in his face, "Row! Row! Row!"

For seven days and seven nights, Maxie rows. Every time he slows down even a little, the man whips him. He doesn't even let Maxie sleep! On the eighth day, the ship pulls back into New York harbor. The man unchains Maxie and throws him out onto the dock where the travel agent is waiting for him.

"So, Mr. Greenbaum," he says, "how did you like your cruise?"

"I'll tell you...it wasn't bad, but you know, I've never been on a cruise before and I want to ask you... How much I should tip the whipper?"


Yeshiva University's new rowing team was the embarrassment of the entire sports department (which wasn't so hot to begin with!) They not only finish dead last in every competitio, but consistently cross the finish line many minutes, even hours, after their opponents. Finally, they send Goldfarb to spy on the top-rated Harvard Crew team, in the hopes of gaining some helpful insight. Lurking in the Cambridge boathouse, he watches the team practice in the Charles River. For an entire week he observes their methods.

Finally, he returns to New York, where his teammates gather anxiously to hear his information.

"I figured out their secret!" he tells them excitedly.

"Nu!? Tell us! Tell us!" demand his teammates, impatiently.

"They have eight guys rowing," he pronounces, authoritively."and only ONE guy yelling!!"


Two Beggars

Two beggars are sitting a few feet apart on a busy street in a notoriously anti-Semitic neighborhood. One has a sign which reads, "Please help a wounded war veteran." The other's sign reads, "Help a poor old Jew."

Hundreds of people pass by during the day. Just to spite the Jew and to show him how unwelcome he is, even those who would never ordinarily give money to a beggar, make a big showing of putting large sums of money into the war veteran's cup.

Finally, a good man passes by, gives money equally to both, and then says to the Jew: "Look, why don't you change your sign? I hate to say it, but people around here don't particularly like Jews. With a sign like that, in this neighborhood, you're never going to get a penny."

When he's out of earshot, the old Jew turns to the "veteran" one and says: "Gib a kik*, Moishe…look who's trying to teach US business..."

*Gib a kik: lit, "take a look." Means also, "Get a load of that…"


Marvin and the Guru

Marvin was a deeply spiritual man, a seeker of truth. He went to synagogue every week for years, but eventually realized his soul needed more than Judaism could give him. He tried Buddhism, Christianity, a wide assortment of New Age religions, but he still felt spiritually empty.

One day, he heard about a great guru living atop the highest mountain in India who had all the answers. He sold all his worldly possessions, bid goodbye to his friends and family, and headed east. Once on the subcontinent, he learned that the guru would agree to see only one person a year and that person would be allowed to ask only one question. There were many other truth-seekers ahead of Marvin, so he had to wait nearly twenty years to see the great man. During that time, he lived in poverty, at the base of the mountain begging and doing menial tasks. When his turn finally came, he made the perilous journey up the snow-covered mountain, and waited for a week in the freezing cold in front of a cave, until the guru emerged.

"What is your question, my son?" the guru asked.

Marvin had been rehearsing this for years, and said, "Oh, wise one… What is the meaning of life?"

"Life, my son," said the guru ponderously, "is a deep well."

Marvin's jaw dropped open. He could not control his shock and anger. He screamed at the guru, "'Life is a deep well?' That's it? I've given up everything I owned, abandoned my friends and family, spent years living in abject poverty, even lost my toes to frostbite getting up here, and that's the best you can do? 'Life is a deep well?!'"

The guru looks at him quizzically. "What? You mean it isn't?"




Pincus, the Dry Goods Salesman

Old man Pincus sold dry goods on the road. His territory was the deep South where they don't like Jews too much. Business was terrible. He couldn't catch a break.

One day, Pincus sees the buyer at one of the biggest chain stores in Alabama. The man is a notorious anti-Semite. Despite his obvious disdain, Pincus gives him his whole sales shpiel.

Finally, the redneck says to Pincus, "Fine, you little Jew bastard... you want an order? I'll buy your lousy goods. You can give me just enough fabric to reach from the tip of your nose to the end of your prick!" And he abruptly dismisses him from his office.

Three weeks later, the buyer is in his office and his assistant comes in. "Sir! That order you placed with that Jew is arriving...but, sir...there are hundreds of truckloads of goods...In fact, the trucks are backed up all the way up I-95 to Washington, D.C.! How many yards did you order?"

"Get me that stinking little Jew on the phone!" he screams. So the assistant calls Morty. The buyer grabs the phone and yells, "What the hell is going on here, you s.o.b! What did I order?"

"Well," says Pincus, "you asked for enough goods to reach from the end of my nose to the end of my prick."

"That's right! And where is the end of your nose?"

"On my face, of course."

"And where is the end of your prick?"

"In Russia!"

Russian Immigrant in Israel

After many years of red tape, Mikhail was finally give an exit visa by the Russian government to emigrate to Israel, where he already had some family. Rules allowed that émigrés were allowed to take with them only what they could pack into a standard-size suitcase.

At the airport in Moscow, he was stopped by a spiteful customs official who was determined to give this Jew a hard time.

"Open your luggage!" he commanded.

So Mikhail opened the case. The officer tore through all his pathetic belongings - tattered clothing, an old Bible, some family photos. Underneath it all, he found a heavy object wrapped in newspaper. Ahah! I'm going to get him now, he thought. He unwrapped the paper and found nothing more than a bust of Stalin.

"And what is this we have here?" he snarled.

"What is this, you ask me?" said Mikhail. "Don't ask 'What is this?' Instead you should ask 'Who is this?' This, comrade, is our magnificent leader, Joseph Stalin. I am leaving behind more important things, so I may take this with me, so that in my new home, I will have it to remind me of all the wonderful things this great men did and the splendid Soviet life I am leaving behind."

"You Jews are crazy!" said the customs man, carelessly throwing the statue into the bag. "Go on. Get out of here! We should be happy to see you go!"

Several hours later, Mikhail arrived in Israel, and there he was met by an Israeli customs official.

"Shalom, Welcome to Israel. Please, open the case!"

Once again Mikhail's luggage is thoroughly examined, and again, the customs official finds the bust of Stalin.

"What is this?" asks the customs officer.

"What is this?" asks Mikhail indignantly. "Don't ask 'What is this?'. Better you should ask 'Who is this?' This, my friend, is that bastard, Stalin. I shlepped it all the way from Moscow to Israel, and I'm going to put it right next to my bed, so when I wake up in the morning, I will be reminded of all the suffering and misery this momzer* caused me my whole life. And every night before I go to sleep, I'm going to spit on him! Khha-ptooie!"

"You Russian Jews are all crazy!" the official laughs, and tosses the bust back into the luggage. "Go ahead! Welcome to Israel."

Mikhail's sister and her family meet him at the airport and bring him back to her home. Later that evening, his young nephew is sitting on the bed, watching him unpack. Carefully, Mikhail takes out the bust of Stalin and places it gently on the nightstand."

"Who's that?" the boy asks.

"Who is that?" Mikhail says with a sly smile. "Never mind 'Who is that?' Better you should ask 'What is that?' That, boychik, is five kilos of gold"

*momzer- bastard

Like these jokes? Please help support this website
by purchasing a copy of
Jewish Zen Humor
featuring these jokes and many, many more,
categorized into chapters.
Perfect for synagogue discussion groups!

Jewish Zen Humor by Adrienne! (soft cover just $12.99)

Download a copy! ($6)


Painful Shoes

Katz ran into Finklestein on the Long Island Railroad one evening. Katz was crying, "Oi! Oi! Oi," in obvious pain.

"What's the matter with you?" asks Finkelstein.

"Oi! My feet are killing me!"

"Why? What's the matter?"

"My shoes are three sizes too small."

"So why do you wear them, if they cause you so much pain?"

"Let me tell you: My partner, who I trusted like a brother, just ran off with our secretary and the entire bank account. I had to declare bankruptcy. My daughter just married a goy. My mother in law moved in with us and she doesn't let me live. My wife is the world's biggest noodnik*, with the exception of her mother. My son joined the Hari Krishnas. And I have so many bills, I don't know how I'm going to pay them. But every night when I get home, I sit down in my chair and take off my shoes, and let me tell you, what a mechaiyah! I feel like a million bucks!"

noodnik - pest

mechaiyah -exquisite pleasure


The Thoughtful Suicide

While everybody else's business seemed to be thriving, Jake and Morty's ladies' dress business was so bad, they were on the verge of bankruptcy. They always seemed to be a couple of seasons behind the latest fashion trends. When they lost their biggest account, they knew the business was doomed. Unable to deal with the financial loss, Morty goes up to the roof of their building on 7th Avenue and throws himself off, peering into every other showroom on the way down. As he passes Jake's office on the third floor he calls to him, "Cutttttttttttt vellllllllvvvvvvvvveeeeetttttttt!!"



Oi, Am I Thirsty

An old man is sitting at the back of a crowded bus, jam-packed with passengers. "Oi, am I thirsty…! Oiiiiii, ammmm IIIII thirsty…" he kvetches loudly. Ten, twenty, thirty minutes go by, and he's still complaining. Everyone on the bus can hear him and he's driving the other passengers crazy. Finally, somebody begs the bus driver to stop the bus so they can get this man a drink. They pull into a rest stop and somebody runs in and brings him a big bottle of water. He drinks the entire bottle without coming up for air. The bus pulls out and everybody breathes a sigh of relief. Suddenly, from the back seat, "Oi, was I thirsty. Oiiiiiiiiiii, wassssss IIIIIIII thirsty…"



A Real Handful

Little Scottie was a real handful. Nobody could control him. After two weeks in the second grade, his parents are called into school and notified that he is too wild and disruptive, and is being expelled.

Realizing that Scottie needs more personal attention, his parents enroll him in a private school. He lasts a week and a half, at which point, the tuition is returned with a request to find him another school.

Perhaps it was spiritual guidance that Scottie needed, so his folks took him to a famous yeshiva where he would receive both a secular and Jewish religious education. He was expelled after two days for putting a pork chop in the Rabbi's lunchbox.

Thinking that perhaps more discipline was in order, his parents send him to an exclusive military academy. It took four days for him to be court martialed. It was only through a lawyer's intervention that he wasn't put before a firing squad.

Oh, Scottie was a bad, bad boy. His parents were at their wits' end. Finally, their Italian neighbors suggested the local Catholic school. The nuns were tough, they told him. Perhaps they could whip him into shape. At first, his parents balked at the idea of sending their Jewish son to Catholic school, but they what other choices did they have? He'd already been kicked out of every school he'd attended. Finally, desperate, they relent.

One, two, three months go by. Scottie is getting wonderful grades and good reports from his teachers. His parents are thrilled but puzzled.

"Listen, Scottie, darling. We're thrilled that you're doing so well in school now, but we're curious. You got expelled from public school, private school, yeshiva and military school, and yet, you, a Jewish boy, is doing great in Catholic school. We'd just like to know what's caused this wonderful new attitude."

"Well," says Scottie, "When I saw that Jewish kid nailed up to that big cross, I know those nuns didn't f&*k around!"


The Dried Apricot Debate

A merchant bought a sack of dried apricots from a distributor, only to discover upon opening the bag that they had begun to spoil. He marched into the distributor's office and demanded his money back, but the man refused, claiming the apricots were fresh when he sold them.

The dispute escalated until finally, they called in the Rabbi to settle things once and for all. The Rabbi pours out the sack of dried fruit on the desk and carefully examines the contents. He picks up an apricot and pops it into his mouth, taking his time chewing. He nods. Then he eats another and shakes his head. And another and another, sometimes shaking his head, sometimes nodding, until the entire sack is almost empty.

"So, rabbi," asks the merchant. "What do you think?"

Placing the last apricot into his mouth, he looks at both men and shrugs his shoulders. "How should I know? I'm a rabbi, not an apricot expert."


Like these jokes? Please help support this website
by purchasing a copy of
Jewish Zen Humor
featuring these jokes and many, many more,
categorized into chapters.
Perfect for synagogue discussion groups!

Jewish Zen Humor by Adrienne! (soft cover just $12.99)

Download a copy! ($6)


The Ukrainian Rumor

A frightening rumor was spreading like wildfire through a small Ukrainian village, at the turn of the century. Apparently, a young Christian girl had been found murdered. Knowing how anti-Semitic many of the local peasants were -- even with no evidence of who'd actually killed the girl -- the Jews logically feared horrible repercussions,. Perhaps even a pogrom. A huge crowd congregated in their small, simple synagogue. Ideas were flying around the room about the best way to ward off the inevitable revenge they both feared and had come to expect.

People were shouting, ideas were flying back and forth, when suddenly Abramowitz runs into the synagogue and makes a momentous announcement:

"I have great news! The murdered girl was Jewish!"


The Second Flood

A volcano erupts with a colossal explosion. Scientists predict that within three days, the ensuing giant tsunamis will flood the entire earth, and put all land under water.

The Pope appears on television and encourages everyone to accept Jesus Christ so at least their immortal souls will be saved.

The head Muslim imam also goes on TV to recommend that everybody immediately convert to Islam, so they may spend eternity with Allah.

The Dali Lama appears on TV and urges everyone to become Buddhist, so they may reach Nirvana.

The Chief Rabbi of Israel goes on national TV and says, "We have three days to learn how to live under water."


The Jew and the Athiest

Katz was a very religious Jewish man. He prayed morning, noon and night, always in conversation with God. His next door neighbor was an atheist who never went to any church or synagogue. But the atheist was a good person. He was a successful business man with a beautiful wife, and two lovely, beautiful, smart children. They were all in perfect health.

Meanwhile, Katz's business was terrible. His wife's whining was constant and she seemed to be getting fatter and more demanding by the day. His son was a juvenile delinquent and his daughter was the town tramp. On top of this, Katz had eczema and a hacking cough that would not go away.

This, to Katz, was grossly unfair, so one day, when he was on his knees praying, he asked God, "Oh, Lord, I pray to You every day. I confess to You all my sins; ask for Your guidance in every aspect of my life, and yet my life is unbearable. Meanwhile, my neighbor who doesn't even believe in You, and certainly never prays, has everything a man could ask for. Why should this be?"

With that, the walls began to shake, the floor trembled and a booming voice came down from heaven:




Israel or Bust 1

Yaakov was emigrating to Israel by boat. He is bringing with him seven refrigerators. Arriving in Haifa, he is stopped at the port by a customs official. "Sir, you are allowed to bring in only household appliances for your own personal use."

"These are for my own personal use," Yaakov explains. "I'm Orthodox, so I need one for milchig, one for fleischig, and one for parve.*"

"Fine," says the official. "But that's only three. It still doesn't explain seven."

"You're forgetting Passover," says Yaakov. "I also need milchig, fleischig, and parve for Pesach."

"OK. So now we're up to six. It still doesn't add up to seven," said the customs officer.

Yaakov says, "And, nu, what if once in a while I want to eat a little treyf*?"

milchig: milk and dairy

fleishig: meat

parve: neither milk nor meat

treyf: that which is not kosher at all

During Passover, religious Jews use a completely different set of dishes. Kitchens must be thoroughly cleaned before Passover, lest any leftover "chomitz" (that which is not kosher for Passover) contaminate their Passover food. Some religious Jews actually have an extra kitchen for use only on Passover just to be extra sure their Passover foods are not mixed with everyday food.

How Old Are You?

Mr. Popowitz is called as a witness in a trial.

"How old are you?" asks the D.A.

"I am, kaynahoreh*, ninety-one."

"Excuse me? What did you say?"

"I said, I am, kaynahoreh, ninety-one years old."

"Sir, please just answer the question with no embellishments," yelled the frustrated D.A.. "I ask you again, How old are you!?"

"I told you. Kaynahoreh, I'm ninety-one."

The D.A. is very angry. The judge is also losing his patience. He instructs, "The witness will answer the question simply and plainly or be held in contempt of court!"

The defense lawyer rises and approached the bench. "Your Honor, I think I can resolve this. May I ask?"

"If you can get this trial moving, please, be my guest."

"Mr. Popowitz, let me ask, kaynahoroh, how old are you?"

Popowitz replies, "Ninety-one"

*kaynahoreh: a superstitious word said to ward off evil spirits; used the way we might use "Thank God" in English.

Like these jokes? Please help support this website
by purchasing a copy of
Jewish Zen Humor
featuring these jokes and many, many more,
categorized into chapters.
Perfect for synagogue discussion groups!

Jewish Zen Humor by Adrienne! (soft cover just $12.99)

Download a copy! ($6)




A rescue party finally finds a Jewish man who's been shipwrecked on a deserted island for many years. They are amazed to see how industrious he's been. He's dug a well and constructed a complex system to bring running water to the sturdy house he's built from reeds, wood and leaves. He has domesticated some small animals and bred them for food. He's built a fishing raft from which he can catch nets full of fresh fish. The rescuers, however, are perplexed by two buildings, on opposite ends of the island.

"What are those," they ask.

"Well, this one is my synagogue."

"And the other?"

"That's a synagogue too, but I wouldn't be caught dead in that one!"



The phone rings at KGB headquarters, sometime in the 1960's


"Hello, is this KGB?"


"I'm calling to report my neighbor, Hershel Yankovitz is an enemy of the State. He is hiding undeclared diamonds in his firewood."

"This will be noted."

The next day, the KGB sends their hoodlums to Hershel's tiny house. Out back, in the shed, they violently break every piece of firewood in their search for contraband. They find nothing. Angry and cursing, they leave.

Ten minutes later, the phone rings at Herchel's house.

"Hello, Hersh, did the KGB show up?"

"They just left."

"Did they chop up your firewood?"

"They certainly did."

"Good. Now it's your turn to call. My vegetable patch needs plowing."



A shiksa goes into a shop and see a beautiful fur coat. "What a beautiful coat," she says to the sales clerk. "How much is it?"


"Fine, I'll take it."


A goy calls his mother and says, "Mother, I know I promised to come for dinner tonight, but something important has come up and I'm going to have to reschedule?"

His mother says: "OK."

Two goyim meet on the street.

The first one says, "How's business?"

The other goy says, "Great. Thanks for asking.


The Jewish Convert, Version 3

Pincus was a very religious man, but after nearly 60 years strict observance to Jewish law, he was fed up. "Esther," he tells his wife, "that's it. I've had it! No more getting up early every morning, putting on my tfillin and reciting the same prayers. I've made a decision. I'm converting to Catholicism."

"Are you crazy?" asks Esther, but Pincus is determined. He goes to a local church, discusses his intentions with the priest, and begins taking instruction. Finally, he is baptized into the Catholic faith.

The next morning, as always, he gets up early, and without thinking, puts on his tfillin and automatically starts to recite his morning prayers.

"What are you doing?" asks Esther. "I thought the whole point of becoming Catholic was so you wouldn't have to do that any more."

"Oy!" cried Pincus, smacking himself in the forehead. "Goyshe kopp!*"

*literally, gentile head. Not thinking like a Jew


Prostrating Before God

On Yom Kippur, Mr. Shapiro, one of the synagogue's wealthiest congregants prostrates himself before God. "Dear God, You are so mighty and I am but a piece of dust in the vast desert of your countenance. I am nothing."

Mr. Weinberg, another wealthy synagogue member, won't be outdone. "My Lord, you are omnipotent and I am just a speck on the face of the sun in comparison to your greatness. I am nothing."

Finally, Mr Fishbein, a poor but pious man, gazes to heaven and proclaims, "Oh, God, I am your lowliest servant; but a drop of mud under your feet. I am nothing."

Shapiro, gestures at Fishbein and whispers to Weinberg, "Hah! Look who thinks he's nothing!"


Like these jokes? Please help support this website
by purchasing a copy of
Jewish Zen Humor
featuring these jokes and many, many more,
categorized into chapters.
Perfect for synagogue discussion groups!

Jewish Zen Humor by Adrienne! (soft cover just $12.99)

Download a copy! ($6)


A Jewish Business Conversation

"All right, already. Tomorrow I'm sending the check!"

Just Like Sheldon!

A man walks out of his office in midtown Manhattan during a thundershower. Lo and behold, there's an empty taxi right there! Amazing! He hops in and remarks to the driver how lucky he is to get a taxi at all in such weather, let alone right in front of his office door. The cabbie turns to him and says, "You obviously have perfect timing... just like Sheldon."


"Sheldon Schwartz. Now that was a guy who did everything right, was the luckiest guy in the world. Probably the closest thing to human perfection this planet has ever seen. For example, Sheldon always managed to get a cab immediately, no matter what the weather. Not to mention, parking spot right in front of the door, no matter where he went."

"Ahhh, come on! You're exaggerating. Nobody is that lucky!", says the passenger.

"Sheldon was," says the cabbie. "Not only was he lucky, but he was an amazing athlete. He easily could have been a golf or tennis pro, He had a voice that would shame Pavarotti into giving up opera! He definitely could have won the top prize on Dancing with the Stars! He was so elegant and moved like an angel. He was handsome and sophisticated and refined, more than Cary Grant. Even George Cloony couldn't have held a candle to him!. Boy, you should have seen him in a tuxedo! He was a prime physical specimen -- big and tall and strong. He was really something! He was also a terrific businessman with uncanny instincts. Everything he touched turned to gold. And oi! what a wonderful card player!."

"Oh, come on!" said the passenger. "You're making this up!"

"No. I'm not. Sheldon had other gifts too. Like, he always knew how to please a woman. It was like he could read their minds. He was brilliant, also. There was nothing he didn't know, nothing he couldn't fix. Not like me. I change a fuse, and I short out the entire neighborhood. And boy, did he know how to tell a story! He was the life of every party! Men and woman adored him."

"Wow, he sounds incredible. How did you know this Sheldon?" the passenger says.

"Well, I never actually met him," admits the cabbie.

"Then how do you know so much about him?" the passenger asks..

"After he died, I married his wife."


Bubby on the Bus

An old Jewish bubby climbs onto a crowded bus. Standing front of a seated young man she clutches her chest and says, "Oi! If you knew what I had, you'd get up and give me your seat." The man looks at the old woman, and feeling sympathy, gives up his seat. The woman sitting beside the bubby takes out a fan and starts to fan herself. Grasping her chest, the bubby turns and says, "If you knew what I have, you would give me that fan." The woman gives her the fan. Fifteen minutes later the woman gets up and says to the bus driver, "Stop, I want to get off here." The driver driver says, "Sorry, lady, but the bus stop is at the next corner. I can't stop in the middle of the block." Again, the old woman clutches her chest and says, "If you knew what I have, you would let me out right here." Worried, the bus driver pulls over and lets her out. As she's climbing down the stairs, he asks, "Ma'am, what is it, exactly, that you have? "

She smiles sweetly at him. "Chutzpah*," she says.


*chutzpah: nerve, moxie



Odd Rabbi Out

Four rabbis were involved in some serious, ongoing Talmudic arguments, and three of them always went one way, while another always had an opposite view. Because of "majority rules," this one dissenting rabbi's arguments were always shot down. Finally, he decides to to appeal to a higher authority.

"Oh, God!" he prays aloud so the others can hear him, "In my heart and soul, I believe I am right and they are wrong. Please show us a sign to show that you agree with me!"

The instant the rabbi finishes his supplication, a huge, black storm cloud blocks out the sun on what was, until then, a glorious summer day. Thunder rumbles Lightening flashes. Then, as quickly as it had came, it was gone.

"See!" said the rabbi. "There's a sign from G-d! I'm right and you are wrong!" But the other three rabbis pooh-poohed him, claiming that storm clouds often appear suddenly on hot, summer days.

Not to be beaten, the single rabbi again implores G-d to show him an even bigger sign; one which cannot be ignored.

With that, four huge storm clouds appear. Three of them quickly evaporate, while from the remaining cloud, a bolt of lightening emerges and hits a tree, which bursts into flames.

"See! I told you I was right!" cries the rabbi, but the others refuse to acknowledge that this was anything more than a natural phenomenon, as coincidental as it might be.

If the solo rabbi was going to win this argument, he would need a really BIG sign, one that would prove him unequivocally, absolutely right. Before he has a chance to ask, the sky turns black. There is a total solar eclipse. The ground beneath them trembles. The sky flashes with lightening. And from the clouds, a loud, booming voice says, "HEEEEEE'S RIIIIIIGHTTTTTT!"

Finally, with his argument justified, the rabbi turns to his fellow sages and says, "Nu! What do you say now?!"

"Big deal," shrugs one of the other rabbis, "So, now it's 3 to 2."

Like these jokes? Please help support this website
by purchasing a copy of
Jewish Zen Humor
featuring these jokes and many, many more,
categorized into chapters.
Perfect for synagogue discussion groups!

Jewish Zen Humor by Adrienne! (soft cover just $12.99)

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Kashrut for the Rebbe

A very important, prominent rabbi dies at the ripe old age of 96 and goes straight to Heaven. There, he finds a large table, surrounded by several learned men -- many of them his former students -- all studying the Talmud. The table is laden with all kinds of wonderful food - kishke, kugel, knaidlach and much more. The men noshed as they studied.

One of his students comes to greet his teacher. "Rebbe, we're so happy you've finally joined us! Come, have something to eat!"

The Rabbi surveys the scene, looks over the food and asks, severely, "Who's the mashgiach*?"

The man looks at the rabbi incredulously, and replies, chuckling, "This is Heaven! God is the mashgiach!"

The old man ponders this for a long, long time, stroking his beard, shokeling**, eyes closed, deep in thought. His students regard him with great anticipation, awaiting his learned words…

At last, the rebbi speaks. "OK, I'll have some fruit," he says. "On a paper plate."

* the person in charge of making sure food is kosher
** the swaying to and fro in prayer and meditation

The Flasher

An bubby is sitting on the boardwalk in Brighton Beach. A flasher approaches her and opens his trench coat. The old woman reaches out and grabs the edge of his coat, looks at this critically, and says, "You call this a lining?"


A little old Jewish man is walking down the street one afternoon when he sees a woman with perfect breasts. He says to her, "Hey miss, would you let me bite your breasts for $100?"

"Are you nuts?!!!" she replies, and keeps walking away.

He turns around, runs around the block and gets to the corner before she does." Would you let me bite your breasts for $1,000 dollars?" he asks again.

"Listen you, I'm not that kind of woman! Got it?"

So the little old Jewish man runs around the next block and faces her again. "Would you let me bite your breasts just once for $10,000 dollars?"

She thinks about it for a while and says, "Hmmm, $10,000 dollars. Ok, just once, but not here. Let's go to that dark alley over there."

So they go into the alley, where she takes off her blouse to reveal the most perfect breasts in the world. As soon as he sees them, he grabs them and starts caressing them, fondling them slowly, kissing them, licking them, burying his face in them, but not biting them.

The woman finally gets annoyed and asks, "Well? Are you gonna bite them or not?"

"Nah,” says the little old Jewish man “…costs too much."




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last update:February 19, 2008