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Chabad on Campus

There is a lesson to be learned from everyone and everything we encounter. It is just a matter of trying to find it...

Harvard Gets Serious About Jewish Humor

Monday, January 20, 2014 - 12:05 pm
Posted by by Baila Olidort

What is Jewish humor? Is this a serious question? A laughing matter? Jewish humor and Jewish identity—are you kidding?

Speaking about her book No Joke, Making Jewish Humor, Professor Ruth R. Wisse used the opportunity for some candid talk that left her listeners reflecting on the not-so-funny topic of Jewish identity, even as she made them laugh.

Wisse, the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature at Harvard University, explored the way Jews have used humor, especially self-deprecating humor, to give them the last word against their enemies. Drawing upon Jewish references in a way that the "goy" had no access to, they could beat their offender to a sharper punch line, denying the... ( Read More » )


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