God Laughed: Sources of Jewish Humor

God Laughed: Sources of Jewish Humor


View All Available Formats & Editions


Humor has had a profound effect on the way the Jewish people see the world, and has sustained them through millennia of hardships and suffering. God Laughed reviews, organizes, and categorizes the humor of the ancient Jewish texts—the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and Midrash—in a clear, readable, and accessible manner.

These works have influenced the Jewish people in many ways, and all are replete with humor and wit. Inevitably, this oeuvre of Jewish humor has itself influenced generations of comics, as well as genres of humor. The authors use examples of Biblical humor from several broad categories, including irony, sarcasm, wordplay, humorous names, humorous imagery, and humorous situations.

Because their primary purpose is not to entertain, but to teach humanity how to live the ideal life, much of the humor in the Talmud and the Midrash has a single purpose: to demonstrate that evil is wrong and even, at times, ludicrous. This may help explain why approximately 1,500 years after its closing, the Talmud is still such a fascinating work. God Laughed is the latest addition to Transaction's Jewish Studies series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412853767
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Publication date: 05/30/2014
Series: Jewish Studies Series
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Hershey H. Friedman is professor of business and director of business programs at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Linda Weiser Friedman is professor of statistics and computer information systems at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Table of Contents



Part I: Introduction

1 Studying Jewish Humor
2 A Word on the Sources: Biblical, Talmudic, and Midrashic Literature

Part II: Heavenly Humor

3 Does God Have a Sense of Humor?
4 Biblical Humor: From Irony, Sarcasm, Wordplay to Humorous Imagery
5 No Match for God: Satan as Trickster

Part III: Humor in the Talmud and Midrash

6 Humor in the Talmud and Midrash: An Overview
7 Recurring Characters and Themes
8 Satire, Irony, and Self-Deprecating Humor
9 Sarcasm
10 Exaggerated Imagery and Other Hyperbole
11 Wordplay: Puns, Acrostics, and Riddles
12 Humorous Sayings and Remarks
13 Allegories, Parables, and Fables
14 Talmudic Tales
15 Humorous Cases and Other Absurdities

Part IV Conclusion

16 Is There a "Jewish" Sense of Humor?

Appendix A: Important Dates In Jewish History
Appendix B: The Time Periods of the Talmudic Sages
Appendix C: The Sages and Their Generations
Appendix D: Classic Commentators
Appendix E: Mostly Punch Lines, an Index of Jokes




Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews