Jtube: Ask a Jew in Phoenix

Why are Jews so funny?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (16)

(11) yo, October 31, 2018 8:27 PM

the origin

the very first jew from birth is our forfather Issac [son of Avroham]. the hebrew name [as is recorded in the Torah] is "Yitschach" which means "he will laugh" !

(10) Donald Gluckman, February 2, 2014 6:21 PM

a self-hating joke

Although I do not think Dennis is a Jewish anti-semite, I think he misunderstands the intention of the joke which I have long believed to reflect self-hatred when told by Jews and anti-semitic stereotyping when told by non-Jews.

(9) Mark Shosh, January 2, 2014 7:07 PM

Great Joke

Great joke. So true. The Jews are indeed generous and not cheap or money hungry, however they generally can't resist a good 'metzia' (bargain). The Chofetz Chaim is quoted as saying 'the world has an expression 'time is money', and Yisroel Meir says (he used to refer to himself in third person) 'money is time'. If a Jew can save money he saves time which he would otherwise spend earning that amount. To coin a new phrase: 'A penny saved is a second earned'.

(8) Pan, January 2, 2014 6:31 AM

Praeger's Joke

This joke turns on the fact that while Christians are innately religious and happy to share the source of their faith: the bible for the Protestant and the crucifix for the Catholic, the Jew, even if not especially the relgious Jew is only interested in money. Lesson: Jews have bought into one of the major Christian stereotype of the Jew. The only deprecation here is to say to the Christian "You are right about us."

Sheila, January 3, 2014 3:18 AM

Mr. Brian Donnelly's comment

While many people all over the world are saying, "We don't need anymore Jews," the world certainly needs more people like you Mr. Donnelly. Thank you for your understanding and support. Sheila Pomann

Dvirah, March 21, 2014 2:04 PM

Self-Humor is a Sign of Maturity

The ability to laugh at oneself is a sign of maturity; so as a people, Jews are very mature (as we should be. We're even older than the Chinese!).
That said, one could continue Pan's analysis not with references to money but with the facts that to Jews (1) people are more important than objects and (2) the source of our faith (or at least its major component) is learning. Who is more learned than a Rabbi?

(7) Ari ben Yitzchak, January 2, 2014 3:19 AM


The joke simply isn't funny because Jews are -- as a people -- among generous and generous-hearted, not cheap.

(6) Anonymous, January 1, 2014 11:11 PM

Jewish humor does not have to be self deprecating.

Why reinforce negative stereotypes with self deprecating humor. The Gemarrah speaks of starting a rabbinic lecture with "Milsa Debeduchasa" which can be loosely translated as humor or amusing anecdotes to get people in the right mood to hear the lecture. "Badchanim" (stand up comedians) at chassidic weddings can be hilarious with out being sell deprecating. The Gemmarah says that "Yisroel Bnei Melachim" Jews are considered royalty. Royalty doesn't resort to self deprecating humor.

Anonymous, January 3, 2014 3:34 AM

Responding to "Jewish humor does not have to be self-deprecating

What exactly is the definition of "royalty?" As Dennis Praeger explained, the Jews have suffered so much, they find humor in themselves IN ORDER TO SURVIVE. No matter how "self-deprecating" the humor seems to you, or others, we KNOW who we are. People often hate because of jealousy. The people who hate, don't see the fact that everyone on this planet can cooperate and work together. Who created GREEN land out of BARREN land for many Arab people? The Israeli/Jewish "problem" goes far, far deeper than resentment because of the building of extended settlements. No one addresses the deeper issues.

Ra'anan, January 4, 2015 10:17 AM

Anonymous: The definition of "royalty" is we are the children of the King of the Universe. When he offered us the 613 Commandments at Mount Sinai, we agreed to accept the deal. Which means we now have 613 obligations & because of extreme precision that G-d uses to evaluate our performance of the 613, we fall short many times & suffer for it. People hate us because we stepped up to bat, we don't shut up & we represent morality & everyone knows it & that don't like the fact that in reality everyone has moral obligations & JEWS are reminders of those obligations. If Nazis, for example, eliminated Jews, then there is no more conscience. These are Hitler's words, not mine.

(5) Shoshana - Jerusalem, January 1, 2014 10:00 PM

funny ?

It is really anti-Semitic and even though it makes people laugh
it feeds the stereotype of the money-hungry Jew. If a goy told it people would be outraged.

(4) Brian A.Donnelly, January 1, 2014 9:45 PM

Humour Heals Hurt.

As a devout Christian, and therefore a staunch supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, I rejoice in this G-d given ability that Jews possess to tell many intrinsic truths couched in humour.
I saw recently an example of graffiti which said " Hate Hides Hurt " and this gives rise to many of mankind's worst cases of brutality and inhumanity.
I prefer the paraphrase which opened this reply - a kind ( funny ) word deflects blind hatred and anger. After all, it's hard for someone to hate you if they are smiling.
Brian A.Donnelly

(3) Gary Katz, January 1, 2014 7:59 PM

possible explanations

Jews are funny because they are smart, and isn't wit intelligence in its most delicious form? Jews tell self deprecating jokes because when we tell jokes that poke fun at others, we tend to get beat up. Besides, if people are laughing at you, they might laugh a little with you, and if they laugh with you, they might forget to hate you...at least for awhile.

(2) WW, January 1, 2014 7:48 PM

Negative stereotypes are insulting, not self deprecating

The obnoxious "joke" simply reinforces the false and negative stereotype that Jews are cheap and take advantage of others, when in fact Jews are among the most altruistic and generous people one can find.

(1) ian lovestock, January 1, 2014 4:40 PM

Praeger's joke

I attended lecture by creator of Dry Bones - Israel's political comic strip in English - Kirschner. He railed upon Jews who tell self-deprecating jokes and specifically told this same joke as admonished us for laughing at it and said we should be outraged at the blatant anti-Semitism in the "joke." I have mixed feelings about what he said, but although I love Praeger and listen to him regularly, I think Kirschner has a point..

Bunny Shuch, January 2, 2014 7:39 AM

I agree

I agree. The joke just supports the anti-Semitic view that Jews are supposedly greedy. In truth, Jews have been shown to be the most generous group in terms of giving to charity. We don't need to ingratiate ourselves with the larger society by spouting inaccurate and unflattering stereotypes against our own people. Praeger is wrong on this one.


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