Semites and Stereotypes: Characteristics of Jewish Humor by Avner Ziv, Anat Zajdman

By Avner Ziv, Anat Zajdman

With an ongoing foreign convention, Jewish humor in recent times has been a topic of great scholarly inquiry. such a lot educational guides, although, were person works representing a specific thesis or standpoint, quite often on literary points. the current selection of essays through students from England, France, the U.S., Denmark, Israel, and Australia explores features of Jewish humor from numerous views, together with anthropology, literature, psychology, sociology, and faith. Geographically, the paintings distinguishes among the Jewish humor of Israel and that of the diaspora; traditionally, it lines Jewish humor to the Bible. The linkages with Judaism and the Yiddish language are explored. Essays take care of the Jewish use of humor in annoying and tragic occasions, with self-disparagement in Jewish humor, with anti-semitism and stereotyping, and with Jewish girls because the items of humor. The contributions to global tradition of humorists Sholom Aleichem, Woody Allen, Philip Roth, Charlie Chaplin, and diverse modern performers are mentioned as are the Jewish theorists of humor, together with Sigmund Freud, Henri Bergson, and Arthur Koestler. An interdisciplinary e-book, it will likely be of curiosity to scholars and researchers of Jewish culture and folklore, Jewish-American literature, American reports, and humor, pop culture, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

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Sholom Aleichem's appearance on the stage of Jewish history is best understood in terms of particular trends in the Jewish Enlighte n m e n t movement as well as general developments in R u s s i a n political and intellectual life in the second half of the n i n e t e e n t h century. E a s t e r n E u r o p e a n J e w i s h H a s k a l a h was based on t h e eighteenth-century German-Jewish H a s k a l a h of Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), which had been influenced by rationalism and Deism. Later, romanticism entered modern J e w i s h t h o u g h t a n d contributed to the emergence of the Science of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums) with its historical approach to Jewish studies.

Traditionally in our literature protagonists have followed one of two paths. The first of these has been the most satisfying, but it has also been the most risky: to create a system of values and live true to them, recognizing all the while t h a t to live true to yourself m u s t come at a price. The second, and often the more practical, p a t h has been to find one's place in the culture, to adopt a role, if you will, one replete with customs and values, and then accommodate t h a t role as well as you can.

That's why we're Jews. . As you know, I'm a great believer. I never have any complaints against the Almighty. Whatever he does is good. As Scripture says, T r u s t in the Lord' — P u t your faith in God and he'll see to it t h a t you lie six feet under, bake bagels and still thank him. . I say t h a t we have a great God and a good God but nevertheless, I say, I would like a blessing for every time God does something the likes of which should happen to our enemies" (quoted in Trunk, 1944, p.

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