Tracing One Jewish Joke Through Its Many Tellings

Stuart Schoffman has traced the lineage of his favorite Jewish joke to a compilation, The Book of Jokes and Wit, put together in 1922 by Alter Druyanov, a Russian Jew who collected thousands of such jokes and translated them into Hebrew. Although Schoffman doesn’t find many of the jokes funny, a few hold up, including his favorite:

A question was put to Alexander Moszkowski the mumar [a Jew who converted to another religion]: “You, who are both a goy and a Jew, maybe you know the difference between them?” Answered Moszkowski: “Of course I know. When a Gentile is thirsty, he takes three drinks one after the other; when a Jew is thirsty, he checks his blood sugar.”

A meme, a trope, too often a fact of life in Druyanov’s world. The Gentile as violent drunkard, the Jew as hypochondriac, expecting the worst.

Schoffman then connects this old joke to a modern version that you might have heard.

The Englishman says, “I am tired and thirsty; I must have tea.”

The Frenchman says, “I am tired and thirsty; I must have wine.”

The German says, “I am tired and thirsty; I must have beer.”

And the Jew says, “I am tired and thirsty; I must have diabetes.”

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: History & Ideas, Humor, Jokes

How Israel Helps Uphold the U.S.-Backed Liberal International Order

Oct. 16 2019

Seeking to reverse decades of diplomatic isolation, and in response to increasing hostility from Western Europe, Jerusalem in recent years has cultivated better relations with a variety of states, including some with unsavory rulers—ranging from the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. While such a policy has provoked sharp criticism in some quarters, Seth Cropsey and Harry Halem explain that a small country like Israel does not have the luxury of disdaining potential allies, and, moreover, continues to do much to support American interests and with them the “liberal international order,” such as it is. Take the fraught case of its relations with Russia:

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Read more at National Review

More about: Israel diplomacy, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations, Vladimir Putin