Congratulations — you had us all in stitches

You sent us your favourite Jewish gags — but picking the best was no joke

June 18, 2009

We have a winner. The JC readers’ joke competion proved extremely competitive but the judges, comic writers David Schneider and Ivor Baddiel, finally awarded victory to Ron Goldstein of Cockfosters, North London.

Mr Goldstein offered this slice of rabbinical wisdom:

Three ministers of religion are in a train carriage on their way to an ecumenical conference. Inevitably the talk gets around to the thorny subject of “when does life actually begin”.

The Catholic priest starts the discussion by saying: “In my humble opinion, life begins when the child is first conceived. There can be no other answer.”

The Protestant priest says: “If you really want the truth, life begins when the midwife smacks the child on the bottom. It takes its first breath and then cries.”

And the rabbi says: “With respect, gentlemen, you’ve both got it wrong. Life begins when your daughter leaves home and the dog dies!”

The judges’ ribs were also tickled by an old favourite, sent in by Victor Polak of Hendon, about a dodgy insurance claim:

Solly meets Morris in the street. “Morris,” he says, “I heard your shop burned to the ground completely. What a disaster!”
Morris replies: “Shhh, that’s tomorrow!”

By contrast, Robert Mendoza of Westcliff-on-Sea, favoured something topical with this entry:

The Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad calls President Obama and tells him: “Barack, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Obama asks.

Mahmud replies: “‘United States of Iran’.”

Obama says, “You know, Mahmud, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner.”

“What did it say on the banners?” Mahmud asks.

Obama replies: “I don’t know. I can’t read Hebrew.”

Paula Rogers sent in a Jewish twist on thattraditional staple, the mother-in-law joke:

“Is it true, Abe, that your mother-in-law is ill?”
“In fact, I hear she is in hospital?”
“How long has she been in
“In three weeks time, please God, it will be a month!”

Sarah Rose provided this story about a not-so-dumb military man:

A young Jewish soldier, not renowned for great intellect, deveoped a strange habit. He was observed picking up any pieces of paper lying around, examining both sides, then throwing them away in disgust, saying: “That’s not it.”
Eventually, he was considered mentally unsuitable for military service. He was asked to report to his superior officer who handed him his discharge document. After glancing at it briefly, he announced triumphantly: “This is it!”

And Teddy Graham supplied the joke that produced the biggest smiles in the JC office:
Picture the scene — a Jewish hotel in the Catskill Mountains. The place is buzzing. A good-looking man in his mid-40s comes up to the reception desk to check in. Within seconds, an orange-skinned woman of a certain age comes up and stands next to him.
Woman: “I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.”
Man: “No ma’am, you’re right. I’ve never been here before.”
Woman: “You’re kidding me! You’ve never been to the King Saul Hotel before! How is that possible?”
Man: “Well, to tell you the truth, I’ve been away for some years.”
Woman: “Away? You mean out of the country away?”
Man: “No. Not out of the country.”
Woman: “So where then?”
Man: “Well, not that it’s any of your business, but I was in, er… I was in prison.”
Woman: “In prison. Oy veh. And how many years were you in prison?”
Man: “A long time.”
Woman: “So how long is a long time?”
Man: “Actually I was in prison for 15 years.”
Woman: “Oy a broch. In prison for 15 years. Tell me, what did you do to get put in prison for 15 years?”
Man: “What did I do? I killed my wife.”
The woman’s face lights up and she moves closer: “Oh, so you’re single!”

Congratulations to the winner — Mr Goldstein will be receiving a pair of tickets to the JCC for London’s evening of stand-up humour at the famous Comedy Store next week, where his joke will be told to the audience. And thank you to all who took part.

... More of your favourite Jewish jokes

Three from Robert Mendoza, of Westcliff-on-Sea:

An observant Jew who lived on The Bishops’Avenue, London’s millionaires row, built a succah on his balcony. Some of his “high society” non-Jewish neighbours brought him to court. They claimed that the succah on his balcony was an eyesore and having a negative impact on the value of their homes in this exclusive neighbourhood.

In court the man was very worried as it was the very eve of Succot, leaving him no time to make alternative arrangements should he lose the case. He prayed for help. And Hashem listened.

Judge Ginsburg, also an Orthodox Jew, had a reputation for being a very wise man. After hearing both sides, he turned to the observant Jew and scolded him: “Don’t your realise that you live in Bishops’ Avenue and not the East End? You have no right to be putting up an ugly hut on this exclusive street without a building permit authorising it.”

“I hereby rule that you remove the hut – or I will fine you £10,000. You have exactly nine days to do so. Next case!”

A plane leaves Los Angeles airport under the control of a Jewish captain. His co-pilot is Chinese. It’s the first time they've flown together and an awkward silence between the two seems to indicate a mutual dislike.

Once they reach cruising altitude, the Jewish captain activates the autopilot, leans back in his seat, and mutters:
“I don't like Chinese.”
“You no rike Chinese?” asks the co-pilot, “why not?”
“You people bombed Pearl Harbor, that’s why!”
“No, no,” the co-pilot protests, “Chinese not bomb Pearl Harbor! That Japanese, not Chinese.”
“Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese... doesn’t matter, you’re all alike,” grumbles the captain.
There’s a few minutes of silence. “Me no rike Jews!” the co-pilot suddenly announces.
“Why not?” asks the captain.
“Jews sink Titanic,” says the co-pilot.
“Jews didn’t sink the Titanic!” exclaims the captain, “it was an iceberg!”
“Iceberg, Goldberg, Rosenberg... no matter, it’s all the same.”

A little boy was walking to synagogue when he met a little girl going the same way.

He said: “Hello, are you going to the Reform shul.”
“No,” she replied, “I'm going to the Orthodox one.”

When they reached the bottom of a hill which had been flooded from torrential rains, the girl said that her mum would kill her if she got her best clothes wet. The boy said that his mum would do the same to him so they decided to strip naked and wade through the waters, holding their clothes above their head. They then stood in the sun to dry before dressing.

The boy looked the girl up and down and said: “You know, I never knew there was such a difference between the Orthodox and Reform.”

From Mrs S Moran:

Maria from Spain has studied English for a year. She stayed with a Jewish family as an au pair. The family lived in Egware but originally came from the East End. Maria loved every minute of it, and was treated like part of the family.

Her year is up, so she gets on a plane back to Barcelona. Her father is there to meet her at the airport. He greets her enthusiastically and is delighted she is now fluent in English. “Maria, let me hear you talk some English. How was your time in the UK, how was your plane trip?”
Maria opens her mouth and starts to speak English for the first time "Ber my life and yours, if I was to tell you, what a schlapp, and there were some meshugganas on the plane”

From Tony Drake, Yorkshire:

A young man goes to a matchmaker and the matchmaker asks: “What kind of a bride do you want?”
The young man replies: “She must be beautiful, she must be rich, and she must be clever.”
“Fine,” says the shadchen, “but I make that three wives.”

From Ludwig Levy, of north London:

At a dinner party the hostess says to one of her guests: “Go on, my dear, do have another piece of this lovely gefilte fish.”
To which the lady replies: “Oh no, thank you so much. I have already had two pieces.”
The hostess says: “Well, actually you had three pieces, but who’s counting.”

From Greg Allon:

A Jewish man is walking across the road without looking where he is going, when he is knocked over by a bus. An ambulance soon arrives, and a paramedic puts a blanket over him.
“Are you comfortable,” she asks him.
He shrugs. “Well,” he says, “I make a living.”

Two from Paula Rogers:

Adam was the first book-keeper - he turned over a leaf and made an entry.

Abe viewed the slice of ham in the butcher shop with approval.
“How much is that slice of ham?” he asked.
Just then there was a terrific peal of lightning and a great rolling of thunder.
“It's OK, God,” says Abe, “I was only asking.”

Two from Victor Polak, of north London:

Solly meets Morris: “Morris, I have this great deal for you - an authentic African elephant. I will sell it to you for wholesale for £10,000.”
Morris: “What on earth would I do with an elephant? I live on the 12th floor in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with four.”
Solly: “You will regret this. It’s a real gem of an elephant.”
Morris: “You meshuggene! How would I feed it, where would I keep it? No more of this nonsense!”
Solly: "All right, I’ll throw in a second elephant for £5,000.”
Morris: “Now you’re talking!”

Solly starts his first day of work as a custodian at the National Gallery. His old friend Morris goes to see how he’s doing at his new job and says: “Nu? Howzit going?"
Solly jubilant: “Much better than I thought... sold three already!”

From Gerry Collins, of north-west London:

A Japanese man comes home to his wife.
“Honourable wife, I hear that you have been having an affair.”
“Oh no, honourable husband - it is not true.”
“And what's more honourable wife, I hear that it is with a Jewish man.”
“No, no, honourable husband, it is definitely not true. Who has been telling you these booba meisers?"

Last updated: 6:31pm, June 18 2009